Even as the State government entrusted the probe into the alleged irregularities in the selection of Gazetted Probationers Group A and B by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), questions have been raised if the agency can take up investigation of cases booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Officials in the CID wondered how they could take up investigation as the Lokayukta police was the exclusive agency to investigate cases involving corruption. In fact, when the CID probed irregularities in the KPSC during the tenure of H.N. Krishna, the agency referred the case of disproportionate assets against him to the Lokayukta police whereas it inquired into charges booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In the first information report (FIR), the accused have been booked under Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act along other sections of the IPC, including cheating, on the basis of a complaint lodged by a Deputy Secretary of Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms. However, booking of the case under Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, which deals with receiving illegal gratification, besides various other sections of the IPC, has “surprised” CID officials.
Meanwhile, the former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde said there was no bar on the investigation of a case booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act as long as the investigating official was not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police or its equivalent.
Asked whether the CID can take up the present case booked in connection with the KPSC scam, he said: “I think so. There can be no exception to the rule.”