ACB chief files petition to expunge remarks by Karnataka HC judge


PTI, Jul 7, 2022, 4:24 PM IST

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) ADGP Seemanth Kumar Singh has moved the Karnataka High Court seeking to expunge the remarks made by a single judge against him and the state anti-graft bureau during hearing of a bail petition in connection with a bribery case.

The ADGP’s new petition recalls Justice H P Sandesh’s remarks calling the ACB a ”collection centre” and Singh its head a ”tainted officer”.

”The petitioner is deeply hurt by the oral observations made by the learned single judge which has caused a severe dent to the reputation of the petitioner and also that of the ACB,” the petition said.

It all began with, Singh, a senior IPS officer being asked to be personally present before Justice Sandesh on May 30 during the hearing of the bail petition of Deputy Thasildar Mahesh P S, who was working in the Urban Deputy Commissioner’s (DC’s) office when an ACB raid had resulted in the bribery case. The court had questioned as to why then DC Manjunath was not made an accused in the case, following which the court was promised he would be made a party in the case.

On June 29, during next hearing of the case, Justice Sandesh on noticing the DC was not yet made a party, made observations against ACB and the ADGP.

On July 4, Singh was again present in the court, during which the judge stated that he was threatened with transfer after his remark against the ACB that it had become a ”collection centre”, and that he was unfazed by such threats.

Singh in his petition says, the judge asked for his service records to be submitted and there were negative remarks in it.

”The learned single judge has also stated that the petitioner is apparently powerful and has made several other unwarranted and baseless statements,” the petition said. Singh’s petition seeks a stay on the order of the Justice Sandesh calling for his service records as it was beyond the scope of the bail petition the court was hearing. He has also sought for expunging the oral observations made by the judge which he says was widely reported in the media and dented his image. Noting that the judge was making remarks that were violating his fundamental rights, he has sought necessary direction to the learned ”single judge to consider the bail petition on merits without going beyond the scope of the petition.”

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