BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court observed that Lokayukta should set its house in order by issuing a direction to officers to complete the investigation within a time frame, failing which “the Damocles sword of prosecution will hang on the head of public servants”.
Coming across several cases where investigation has gone on for years and no final report was filed, the court said it speaks volumes for the lackadaisical attitude of the prosecution/ Lokayukta. Justice M Nagaprasanna made these observations while rejecting a petition filed by Dr Kallappa, a retired professor of Karnataka University in Dharwad, seeking to quash the disproportionate assets case registered against him, on grounds of delay in completing the investigation.
“In the present case, the delay occurred as the petitioner was not divulging numerous accounts held by him. The unearthing of those accounts by the prosecution is one of the reasons for the delay. This court has come across several cases where investigation has gone on for ages and no final report was filed... It is hoped that this case would become an eye-opener for speedy completion of the investigation, for which the lack of will of the Lokayukta has to be effaced,” the court said.
On counsel’s submission that the petitioner is deprived of his right to apply for the post of Vice-Chancellor due to a delay in filing a final report, the court said it is unacceptable as it is his act that led to the situation... If all information had been divulged by the petitioner, the situation that has now emerged would not have been there.” Directing Lokayukta to file its final report within two months, the court said that if it is not done, the court is at liberty to draw adverse inferences against Lokayukta.