In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed directions including the closure report filed by the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau and seeking service records of officials, including the ADGP of Justice HP Sandesh of the Karnataka High Court. Bribery case.
A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli said the High Court judge, while hearing the bail plea of one of the accused, made certain “irrelevant observations” outside the scope of the bail application. The top court, however, refused to remove the observations and transfer the matter to any other bench in the high court, saying it has to balance the parties.
“Proceedings before the High Court of Karnataka, which are not connected with the proceedings with the accused, are stayed. We request the High Court to consider the bail application of the accused. List it after three weeks,” the bench said.
Apart from adverse oral comments, the HC judge issued directions to summon the confidential service records of the Additional Director General of Police while considering the regular bail application of an accused seeking report on prosecution/closure of cases investigated by the ACB since 2016 Were. The top court was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government.
The top court was hearing three petitions filed by jailed officer J Manjunath against the adverse remarks of Karnataka government, Anti-Corruption Bureau ADGP Seemant Kumar Singh and High Court Justice Sandesh.
The High Court judge had verbally called the ACB a “collection centre” and Singh a “tainted officer”.
Justice Sandesh had also claimed to have received transfer threats in his order following his adverse remarks and extended the hearing while considering the bail plea of one Mahesh in the case. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for ACB ADGP, sought removal of the adverse remarks. Another senior advocate S Nagamuthu, appearing for jailed officer J Manjunath, urged that the matter be referred to another bench.
“Sorry, we have to balance the sides. We cannot be seen in favor of one side”, the CJI said while ordering notices on the petitions. Recently, the then Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner Manjunath, who was arrested in the bribery case has moved the apex court, alleging media trial after Justice Sandesh made “inappropriate remarks” during the hearing of another accused’s bail plea. The state government and the ACB chief had earlier approached the High Court Separate petitions were filed against the orders and observations of the
On July 12, the top court had requested Justice Sandesh to adjourn the matter for three days. In his separate petition, Additional Director General of Police Singh had sought removal of the adverse remarks of Justice Sandesh and stay of proceedings in the High Court.
The Solicitor told the top court that the observations and directions relating to closure of prosecution/cases investigated by the ACB since 2016 and summoning the confidential service records of the ADGP have been passed considering the regular bail plea of an accused. General Tushar Mehta appearing for the state ACB. It all started when the ADGP was asked to appear personally before Justice Sandesh on May 30 during the hearing of the bail plea of Deputy Tehsildar Mahesh PS, who was working in the Deputy Commissioner of Urban (DC) office. , when the ACB raid took place. in the bribery case against him.
The High Court had questioned why the then DC Manjunath was not made an accused in the case, after which the court was promised that he would be made a party in the case. On June 29, during the next hearing of the case, Justice Sandesh made remarks against the ACB and the ADGP for not making the DC a party yet.
On 4 July, Singh appeared in court again, during which the judge noted that he had been threatened with transfer after his remarks against the ACB that it had become a “collection centre”, and that he had been subjected to such threats. were careless.
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