Division bench sets aside ‘sweeping’ powers to investigation officer


The powers were given by a single bench of the High Court

A division bench of the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday set aside a single judge bench's July 26 "sweeping" orders entrusting the investigation into alleged transfer of development rights and occupancy certificate scam in Bengaluru to Abdul Ahad, a Superintendent of Police attached to the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), and giving him powers to chose his team and manner of of investigation, and making him not answerable to his superiors in ACB on the investigation.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar passed the order while partly allowing an appeal by the State government.

The division bench noted that as M/s Nakoda Constructions Limited had approached the court by filling a writ petition seeking limited direction for issuance of occupancy certificate for their multi-storey building, the single bench could not have exceeded jurisdiction by ordering sweeping directions, which are not done even in case of PIL petitions.

“A writ court like the high court cannot issue directions that only a particular officer has to conduct probe in a matter,” the bench observed.

The division bench, however, directed the head of ACB to appoint any officer not below the rank of SP to probe four crime cases already registered and any similar future complaints.

Also, the division bench set aside the government order appointing Mr. Ahad as investigation officer, and other orders passed to include several non-police officers in the investigation team as chosen by Mr. Ahad.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:22:07 AM |

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