Transfer Anti Corruption Bureau cases and staff fast: Karnataka Lokayukta
The HC had directed the chief secretary to take steps to transfer inquiries and other proceedings being handled by the ACB till the date of the judgment to Lokayukta.
Published: 25th August 2022 03:33 AM | Last Updated: 25th August 2022 08:55 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: As the state government has delayed the transfer of cases and staff from the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to the Karnataka Lokayukta as directed by the Karnataka High Court, the Registrar of Lokayukta has written to Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma to take steps to implement the court order. The HC on August 11, 2022, abolished the ACB and ordered the transfer of its cases and staff to the Lokayukta.
While quashing the government’s notification on setting up the ACB and withdrawing powers of Lokayukta under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the HC had directed its Registry to send an order copy to the chief secretary to take steps to transfer inquiries and other proceedings being handled by the ACB till the date of the judgment to Lokayukta.
Lokayukta police wing to be strengthened
This in turn has to proceed from the stage at which they are pending, in accordance with the law. Though Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai clarified that the state government has decided not to appeal before the Supreme Court against the HC order, no steps have been taken by the government even two weeks after the HC order.
Apart from recommending an amendment to Section 12(4) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act to the effect that the government must initiate action against errant officials based on the recommendation by the Lokayukta in cases of maladministration, which is not mandatory under the existing provisions, the HC had also directed the government to strengthen the police wing of Lokayukta by appointing/deputing honest persons with a track record of integrity and fairness.
It has also been recommended to the government to transfer/depute the police personnel who were working with ACB to the Lokayukta police wing, in order to strengthen the existing police wing of Lokayukta and to enable them to prosecute and investigate cases effectively. The court also made it clear that the officers/officials who were working with ACB should come under the administrative and exclusive disciplinary control of Lokayukta with immediate effect.
As the powers of Lokayukta to register complaints under the Prevention of Act are restored, the institution is flooded with complaints. Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma was not available for comment.