Karnataka High Court gives relief to ADGP Seemant Kumar Singh, other police officers of erstwhile ACB

It quashes cognisance of offences taken against them by special court on complaint lodged by a realtor

Updated - July 15, 2024 09:55 pm IST

Published - July 06, 2024 07:20 pm IST - Bengaluru

A view of the High Court of Karnataka.

A view of the High Court of Karnataka. | Photo Credit: SREENIVASA MURTHY V

The High Court of Karnataka has quashed cognisance of offences taken by the special court for Lokayukta cases against IPS officer Seemant Kumar Singh, an Additional Director General of Police, and six other then police officers for illegally initiating criminal proceedings against a realtor by allegedly misusing their power when they were serving in the erstwhile Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

As the police officers had questioned the cognisance of offence taken against them only on the solitary ground that the special court proceeded against them in the absence of prior sanction, the High Court quashed only the order of the special court in taking cognisance, but has not quashed the complaint lodged by the realtor, A. Mohan Kumar of R.T. Nagar in Bengaluru.

If sanction is accorded

Justice M. Nagaprasanna, in his order. said that the proceedings against the officers before the special court could be continued only if sanction is accorded by the competent authorities for their prosecution.

The special court had taken cognisance for offences like misuse of powers, criminal misconduct, house trespass, criminal intimidation, attempt to extort the money, fabrication of documents, etc. against the petitioner officers.

While the special court had held that no sanction for their prosecution was required as the acts alleged against the petitioner-police officers not covered under the official discharge of duty, the High Court said that their acts were part of official duty as searches were conducted by security search warrants.

In allotments

The ACB in November 2021 had registered a complaint against unknown officials of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and private individuals on various illegalities in allotment of site, etc. in BDA. The ACB sleuths, during their search in BDA office, seized a diary containing several names, including the name of the complainant, in relation to four files.

Following this, the ACB sleuths searched his premises in March 2022 by taking search warrant and seized some items but could not find any incriminating documents. Subsequently, the complainant filed a petition against the ACB’s action before the High Court, which in February 2023 quashed the proceeding against the complainant for the reason that there was no material against him. However, the High Court reserved liberty to investigating agency to restart proceedings if it discovers any material against him.

After writing a letter to the competent authority seeking sanction for prosecution of these officers, the complaint, sans sanction, had lodged a private complaint against them before the Special Court.

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