The Karnataka High Court on Monday said Lokayukta police can file chargesheets or final reports in the cases filed by them prior to the creation of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The court authorized them to carry on with probe in 747 pending cases. The move came after a PIL stated, the Lokayukta is unable to file report despite completing the probe. The court asked the state to file objections, if any, within 4 weeks.
The division bench included Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath. This was after Advocate General Madhusudan R Naik stated that the process of investigation includes filing of chargesheets or final reports, so the investigating agency i.e. Lokayukta police is authorised to file chargesheets or reports as Section 174 of CrPc mentions it.
The move came in response to the submission of senior counsel Dhyan Chinnappa that Lokayukta police are unable to file chargesheets even though the investigations were completed as the police station status and probe powers accorded to them has been withdrawn by the state after the creation of the ACB.
Senior counsel Chinnappa was representing Chidanand Urs, who filed a PIL challenging the creation of ACB, disbanding Lokayukta police. The court also asked the state government to file objections in four weeks, if any.
The court had asked Lokayukta and the police to continue the investigation in 747 pending cases across the State and in turn, the police have given an undertaking that they will complete the investigation by June end.
However, the police officials expressed apprehensions, saying that the chargesheets/reports may be cancelled by the courts if they are submitted in the absence of police station and investigation powers. Though, the Lokayukta has not approached the court till now against the government for not restoring powers.