Prevention of Corruption Act is applicable to KMF employees, says HC

Stating that an employee of the Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited (KMF) comes under the definition of ‘public servant’ of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988, the High Court of Karnataka has declined to quash a disproportionate assets case registered against a general manager of KMF.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while rejecting the petition filed by V. Krishnareddy, who was working as general manager (Nandini Milk Products) when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) registered case against him in November 2021 under the PC Act.

It was contended on behalf of the petitioner that PC Act is not applicable to him as he is ‘not a public servant’ as he is employed in KMF, a cooperative society.

However, the court said, “The petitioner being a general manager of Nandini Milk Products, which is a unit of KMF, undoubtedly performs public duty and the government’s obligations of such public duty was transferred to the federation when it was created. Therefore, the inescapable conclusion would be that the petitioner would be a public servant within the meaning of Section 2(c) of the Act.”

While citing application of PC Act as per apex court’s interpretation, the High Court pointed out that if there is even sprinkling aid falling upon the cooperative society it would be sufficient to bring an employee of that society within the definition of ‘public servant’.

The ACB had registered the case against the petitioner after it was found in the source report that the petitioner had possessed assets, which is 107.7% disproportionate to his known sources of income.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 8:19:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/prevention-of-corruption-act-is-applicable-to-kmf-employees-says-hc/article65750453.ece