Thursday, April 18, 2024

Karnataka High Court abolishes State Anti-Corruption Bureau

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday abolished the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which was established by the government of Karnataka, through a notification on March 14, 2016.

The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising Justice B. Veerappa and Justice K.S. Hemalekha on a batch of petitions challenging the constitution of ACB, which had withdrawn to itself powers from the Karnataka Lokayukta under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Bench observed that when the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984 was working to eradicate corruption in the state, there was no justification for the Karnataka government to constitute an ACB through an executive government order.

The High Court further quashed all State government notifications issued pursuant to the March 2016 order.

It further directed to transfer all cases pending before the ACB to the Karnataka Lokayukta.

The Bench ordered to strengthen the police wing of Karnataka Lokayukta by appointing honest persons with a track record of integrity and fairness.

Only people with integrity, both in public and personal life, who are uninfluenced by caste and creed, should be appointed to the post of Lokayukta, noted the High Court.

It also demanded transparency in such appointments.

The police personnel presently working at ACB shall be transferred to the Karnataka Lokayukta Police Wing, in order to strengthen it and all officers presently working at ACB shall be under the administrative control of the Lokayukta, the Court directed.

Case title: Chidananda Urs BG v State of Karnataka


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