Hegde fights for the dismissal of the government. sanction to reserve criminal proceedings against officials

Mandatory requirement for government sanction to register criminal case against officials was archaic law, he says

Mandatory requirement for government sanction to register criminal case against officials was archaic law, he says

Welcoming the recent decision by the High Court to abolish the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and restore the power of the Lokayukta Police to investigate cases of corruption, former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde pointed out the need to remove the necessary sanction from the government to bring criminal action against public servants.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru on Friday, Mr Hegde said the mandatory requirement for a government sanction to register a criminal case against public officials was an archaic law dating back to the British period when the then government believed that ‘it was necessary to protect their officials against false complaints during the liberation movement. “Now we have our own government. What is the need for such a law now,” he said.

“An ordinary person has no such protection. He can be charged and prosecuted in court. Why is government permission needed to prosecute public officials, including ministers? Remove the need for such a sanction,” he said.

Mr. Hegde also said that an amendment to the Lokayukta law will not be enough until a strong police force and other necessary facilities are given to the Lokayukta. Police officers are sent to the Lokayukta only after the necessary approval of the Lokayukta who should study the background of the police officers. The Lokayukta police can do better than the ACB, he felt.

Mr Hegde said that the three main political parties in Karnataka were not in favor of strengthening the Lokayukta. He recalled that Congress, which was in opposition when the report on illegal mining was submitted in 2011, took out a padayatra from Bengaluru to Ballari demanding the implementation of the report. The party, which had promised to implement the report if it formed government, ironically stripped power from the Lokayukta in 2016.

The BJP, which was in opposition when the powers of the Lokayukta were stripped, promised to dissolve the ACB if elected to power. However, there was no change in this regard even after the BJP came to power and the instructions from the High Court to abolish the ACB had come due to an application filed with the High Court, did he declare.

Mr Hegde suspects that the state government could go to the Supreme Court to frustrate the implementation of the High Court’s order on restoring Lokayukta’s power to investigate corruption cases. But, given the elections and the strong opinion of the people in favor of Lokayukta, it may prevent them from publicly preferring an appeal to the Supreme Court. However, he did not rule out the possibility of others appealing the High Court’s decision to the Supreme Court.

About William J. Harris

Check Also

Mayor Chandler calls for removal of new Bossier City police chief

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) – The Bossier City Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board …