BENGALURU: Providing relief to IPS officer Hemant Nimbalkar in the IMA case, the Karnataka High Court on Friday quashed the sanction accorded by the government to prosecute him under provisions of the Karnataka Police Act and Prevention of Corruption Act. The court also quashed the FIR registered by the CBI, and order passed by the Special Court, taking cognisance of an additional chargesheet filed against him by the CBI. The ruling has come as a major setback to the CBI.
Allowing the petition filed by Nimbalkar, Justice John Michael Cunha quashed the FIR, sanction accorded and cognisance taken by the Special Court, on the grounds that the allegations are bald and not supported by any material. “The allegations, even if accepted as true, do not constitute the ingredients of Section 420 or 405 IPC under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, against the petitioner. Moreover, the very inquiry initiated against him being without authority of law, is in violation of protection granted to the petitioner under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Hence, sanction accorded to prosecute him is itself illegal and invalid,” Justice Cunha said.
Nimbalkar had challenged the criminal proceedings against him on the ground that he has been selectively named as an accused. His superior and subordinate officers are not arraigned as accused. The DCP, Bengaluru City, the competent authority who failed to take action under the KPID Act, had not been prosecuted, and therefore, prosecuting him is malafide, vindictive and ulteriorly motivated, his plea said. More so, he was not the person to initiate action under the Act, he claimed, while challenging the sanction to prosecute him.
In a counter, the CBI charged that public servants, including Nimbalkar, were reluctant to take action against Mohammed Mansoor Khan, proprietor, I-Monetary Advisory, and other IMA Group of entities and its directors, having allegedly received illegal gratification. The agency had filed a chargesheet before the Special Court on October 15, 2020, arraigning Nimbalkar as accused No. 25. Nimbalkar was fifth accused, among 11 persons booked by the CBI under provisions of the IPC as well as Prevention of Corruption Act.