Karnataka High Court quashes disproportionate asset proceedings against 11 state government officials

The court quashed the proceedings on the technical ground that the investigation was initiated without prior permission of the Superintendent of Police of the Lokayukta.
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High CourtPhoto | Express

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has quashed the proceedings against 11 officials of various departments, accused in disproportionate asset cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, on the technical ground that the investigation was initiated without prior permission of the Superintendent of Police of the Lokayukta.

Justice Hemant Chandangoudar quashed the proceedings while allowing a batch of petitions filed by Sathish S, Range Forest Officer, Channagiri taluk; Venkateshappa N, Executive Officer, Bangarpet taluk panchayat; Nagesh A, Assistant Executive Engineer, Mysuru Urban Development Authority; Shivaraju, tahsidlar, Davanagere taluk; Nagarajappa N J, tahsildar, Shivamogga taluk; K T Srinivas Murthy, Survey Supervisor, Tumakruru, and five others -- B K Shivakumar, Lakshmipathi, Rajeshwari B H, Pushpakala K T and Nataraja S.

Referring to the decisions of the Supreme Court and high courts, the judge said when a first information report (FIR) is registered for an alleged offence under Section 13(1)(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the police officer must submit the report to the Magistrate under Section 157 of the CrPC.

Additionally, the police officer should forward it to the Superintendent of Police along with the source information report and other materials that form the basis for preparing a credible source report.

This is to request an order of investigation under Section 17(2) of the Act. However, in these cases, the authorisation granted to investigate preceded the registration of FIRs, which is impermissible and nullified, he said.

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