Friday, March 31, 2023

Supreme Court asks Karnataka HC Judge to defer hearing for 3 days in case involving State ACB

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Karnataka High Court Judge, Justice HP Sandesh, to defer hearing for another three days in the case involving the state Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The Bench, led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, deferred the case to Friday, so as to enable it to go through the July 11 order, where the High Court Judge had recorded that he received threats of transfer for passing orders against the ACB.

Karnataka High Court Judge, Justice H.P. Sandesh, had last week made a sensational statement in the open court that he had received indirect threats of transfer after passing several directions against the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Justice Sandesh had further expressed his dissatisfaction over the probe in a case related to the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru (Urban). Earlier, he had passed directions to the ACB to produce all the closure reports filed since its inception.

During the hearing, Justice Sandesh had reportedly told the ACB Counsel that a person spoke to one of the High Court Judges. “The judge came and sat with me and gave example of transferring of one of the judges to some other district. They did not hesitate to mention the name of the judge also,” he added.

Later on Monday, Justice Sandesh also recorded in writing that he received a threat of transfer from a sitting judge.

The High Court made this observation, while hearing a bail plea filed by a Deputy Tehsildar accused of accepting bribe in a land dispute case.

Representing the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta suggested that the ACB case should be taken up by the Chief Justice bench of High Court.

Even after the High Court was informed that the Supreme Court would hear the matter today, a written order was passed by the High Court judge yesterday, and the case was directed to be listed on July 13, noted the Counsel.

He said the court was hearing a bail petition. While the judge could have granted or refused bail, he went on to proceed and said the investigation was not being done properly and asked for summary reports to be filed in all cases and not just in the case of those accused, added the ACB Counsel.

Further, there was also direction to conduct the investigation, saying that the judge would monitor the investigation.

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