The Dharwad Circuit Bench of the Karnataka High Court has issued notice to the former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde and 15 other Lokayukta officers in a defamation case on Friday.

The court has asked the respondents to appear before the court in 15 days. Hearing a writ petition filed by IPS officer Hemant Nimbalkar, the Single Bench headed by Justice B.V Pinto issued notices to Mr. Hegde, the former ADGP of Lokayukta R.K. Datta and 14 others.

Mr. Nimbalkar had filed a writ petition stating that Mr. Hegde had defamed him by stating in the electronic and print media that he (Nimbalkar) who was Superintendent of Police in Belgaum had amassed assets worth more than Rs. 250 crore when the Lokayukta officials were raided his house in Belgaum and his wife’s flat in Mumbai in March 2009.

Subsequently when the Lokayukta filed the FIR in court, it mentioned the value of assets alleged to have been amassed in excess of known sources of income as Rs. 81 lakh. Further the Lokayukta officials had filed B report in the court in Mr. Nimbalkar’s case exonerating him from the charges of corruption.

Following this, Mr. Nimbalkar had filed a defamation case against Mr. Hegde and others claiming a token compensation of Rs 1. The district court had dismissed the petition. Mr. Nimbalkar had then filed a fresh writ petition before the Circuit Bench .