New twist in Delhi ACB’s legal saga

In a new twist to the legal battle over division of powers in the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to put on hold two notifications issued by the Union Government restricting the jurisdiction of the Delhi Government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). The court said a Vacation Bench could not grant stay on notifications.

The Vacation Bench comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta tagged a public interest litigation on the subject with another PIL pending in the court. A regular Division Bench will now hear it on August 5.

The writ petition, moved by a law firm, Sudeer Associates, challenging the notifications of May 21 this year and July 23 last year, contended that corrupt employees of the Central Government were being shielded by the provision that the ACB could not take cognisance of offences of Delhi Police and Centre’s officials.

Petitioners V. Sudeer and M.B. Rama Subba Raju said the May 21 notification had created a “different class” of citizens that would be protected from the normal prosecuting process. This could only be done by an Act of Parliament and not through a notification, they argued.

The petitioners also contended that the investigation powers, vested in the ACB by Section 4 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, could be taken away only through an amendment to Cr.P.C.

However, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said notices should not be issued in the case as a regular Division Bench was hearing the similar matter.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 12:16:39 PM |

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