The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the State government why it [government] cannot on its own hand over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the probe into the March 2 violence at City Civil Court complex.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna posed this question to Advocate-General S. Vijay Shankar during the hearing on the public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the Advocates' Association, Bangalore, seeking CBI probe into the incident.

Directing the Advocate-General to inform to the court by Thursday the government's reply, the Bench orally asked why those in the government cannot show statesmanship by ordering CBI probe, especially as many top police officers are accused in the case.

Scepticism

Stating that doubts would prevail on the outcome of the investigation by the State police even if it was fair, the Bench observed that “there will be no doubt even if the CBI files a ‘B' report [finding no substance in allegations made in the complaints]. But if the State police files ‘B' report then certainly people doubt it. You can not be the judge in your own case.”

These observations came from the Bench after Mr. Shankar submitted the State government is open to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) on the lines of the one constituted to probe the fake stamp paper racket case or hand over the investigation to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headed by DGP R.K. Dutta, who has conducted an in-house inquiry on police excess during the incident.

The Advocate-General told the court the CBI is meant for specialised investigations and if this case was handed over to it, it would drag on for five or six years whereas the police would complete investigation in a year.

During the hearing, the Bench took exception to the presence of Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime-West) Pronab Mohanty, a special officer appointed to oversee the investigation of the cases related to the violence. Noticing that he was briefing the Advocate-General, the Bench asked the Advocate-General to tell Mr. Mohanty to leave the court. Mr. Mohanty then left. The Bench will continue hearing on the case on Thursday.

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