In a significant judgement, the High Court of Karnataka has quashed the March 14, 2016 order of the then State Government forming the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The HC on Thursday also shifted the cases pending before ACB to the Lokayukta. The staff and personnel of ACB will also be merged with the Lokayukta.
The HC also directed the Government to appoint competent persons as Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta in public interest.
The judgement by the division bench of Justice B Veerapa and Justice KS Hemalekha came in a petition challenging the ACB’s formation and the subsequent March 16, 2016 government order withdrawing the powers of the Lokayukta police from registering and investigating cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The formation of the ACB through an “executive order” is not justified and Constitutional, the judgement has said. With this the ACB stands abolished. However the HC has said that the actions taken by ACB so far will stand.
The two 2016 notifications if the Government was challenged in a bunch of petitions by various petitioners including the Advocates Association Bengaluru, Chidananda Urs and Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya.