India

Supreme Court stays orders by Karnataka HC against ACB in bail plea hearing, calls them ‘unconnected’, ‘irrelevant’

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana held the conduct of the ACB officer is unconnected to the bail petition and directed the High Court to decide the bail petition. 

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana held the conduct of the ACB officer is unconnected to the bail petition and directed the High Court to decide the bail petition.  | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed orders passed by Karnataka High Court judge Justice H.P. Sandesh against the State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and its chief, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Seemant Kumar Singh, unconnected to a bail plea he was hearing in a corruption case.

The directions in question had ranged from seeking reports on prosecution/closure of cases probed by the ACB since 2016 and summoning confidential service records of the ADGP.

"We stay proceedings like asking for service report, B summary report, observations on the ACB, etc. Prima facie, the observations made were unconnected to the bail petition. The observations were not made within the ambit of bail proceedings. The conduct of the ACB officer is unconnected to the bail petition. We direct the High Court to decide the bail petition," a Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana ordered.

The Bench said the observations made by the High Court judge was "irrelevant" to the bail plea. The Bench also issued notice in a plea by ACB and Mr. Singh to expunge remarks made by Justice Sandesh against them.

Justice Sandesh had formerly called the ACB a "collection centre" and Mr. Singh a "tainted officer". The court however did not accede to a request to shift the case to another Bench. "Sorry, we have to balance... We cannot be seen to be favoring one side," the court said.

The court listed the case after three weeks.

Transfer threat to Justice Sandesh

On July 11, Justice Sandesh had revealed in an order that he was threatened with transfer for his adverse remarks against the State ACB and its top officer.

He had proceeded to give a blow by blow account of how he was subjected to a veiled threat of transfer, that too through a sitting judge of the High Court, unless he laid off the ACB and its top officer. Justice Sandesh said the incident had happened during the farewell dinner for a retiring Chief Justice of the High Court.


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Printable version | Jul 18, 2022 7:19:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-stays-orders-passed-by-karnataka-hc-judge-against-acb-in-bail-plea-hearing-calls-it-unconnected-irrelevant/article65653632.ece