BENGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said his government will abide by the Karnataka High Court order abolishing the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), and added that the next course of action will be decided after discussing it with legal experts and by also keeping in view BJP’s 2018 election manifesto.
The court on Thursday asked the government to restore the powers of the Lokayukta and now the Bommai government is likely to act upon it as the BJP manifesto too had promised it. “It was discussed in the cabinet on Friday. We are committed to what we had said on ACB in our manifesto. After studying the complete judgement, the law minister, officials concerned and the Advocate General will let us know whether legislation is required to take further action,” Bommai said.
“If at all there is a setback, it is for Congress as then chief minister Siddaramaiah had set up the ACB. We will discuss it with party leaders and legal experts to decide further,” Bommai said. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhu Swamy said BJP is, in principle, committed to abolish ACB as promised in the manifesto. “But on the lines of the judgement of the court, we have to take many things into consideration. The court has not just said it has quashed the ACB, it has spoken of merger, powers to the Lokayukta and a few other things. We have to discuss how to go about next,” he said.
BJP in a series of tweets attacked Siddaramaiah, saying he was responsible for the weakening of the Lokayukta. “Many corruption cases during his term including the Arkavati land denotification (Re-do) case were being registered with the Lokayukta. Siddaramaiah massacred the Lokayukta in daylight to avoid jail term. The HC’s verdict is a slap on the face of him,” the state party unit tweeted.
STRENGTHEN LOKAYUKTA POLICE WING, SAYS MOILY
A day after the Karnataka HC quashed the State Government orders constituting the ACB by taking away Lokayukta’s powers to investigate cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, former Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily asked the government to strengthen the Lokayukta police wing. The former CM said as per the HC order the government needs to immediately bring an amendment to the Karnataka Lokayukta Act and strengthen the police wing in the Lokayukta.