Justice H P Sandesh of the High Court of Karnataka on Monday put on record the earlier observations he had made regarding the threat of transfer conveyed to him by another sitting judge. Senior advocate Ashok Haranahalli submitted that a special leave petition (SLP) has been filed before the Supreme Court against the observations made by Justice Sandesh.
The SLP was listed for hearing on Tuesday and therefore an adjournment was sought. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) also filed a memo, stating that an SLP was filed in the apex court and sought adjournment. The court subsequently recorded the oral statements made in previous hearings about the transfer threat he faced due to the observations. ”There cannot be a threat to the court. It amounts to interfering in the dispensation of Justice. I have already conveyed it to the concerned,” Justice Sandesh observed.
When the senior counsel asked for the name of the judge who conveyed the threat, Justice Sandesh said he should not be asked to make a mistake by naming anyone. He, however, said that since he was doubting his words, he would put it on record. ”When this matter was heard on June 29, 2022, this court found inaction on part of ACB in arraying the real accused and made observations regarding the inaction on the part of ACB in bringing the real culprits and matter was adjourned to July 4, 2022,” he said ‘
‘A dinner was arranged by this court to bid farewell to Chief Justice on July 1, 2022. A sitting judge who came and sat by the side of me started with the word (name not recorded) he had received a call from Delhi and says the person who called from Delhi, inquired about me,” he further said. ”The judge did not stop the same there itself, and said that ADGP is from North India and he is powerful. He also gave an instance of transfer of…”he said.
The live-streaming of the court proceedings is frozen for sometime after this and the text of Monday’s order is awaited to be uploaded. Further the court has also recorded in Monday’s order, the remarks made against ADGP of ACB that are part of his service records. The court said the service records of ADGP Seemanth Kumar Singh who heads the ACB and ‘B’ Reports filed by ACB were called for as the agency and the government lacked enthusiasm and interest to take the investigation to its logical conclusion. Justice Sandesh is hearing a bail petition of a deputy tahsildar who was working in Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner’s office. Subsequent to the hearing of this petition, the then DC has also been arrested in the case. Remarks made against the ADGP Seemanth Kumar Singh,has also become a major issue. Singh has filed a petiton in the High Court seeking expunging of the remarks against him and the ACB. The judge had termed ACB a ”collection centre,” and Singh a ”tainted officer.”
Apart from calling for records of ‘B’ Reports filed in corruption cases, Singh’s service records and details of a mining bribery case against him was sought by the court. Justice Sandesh said he called for service records of Singh because there was a threat to the court which was nothing but undermining its independence. He said, ”you have already approached the Supreme Court. If they find I am wrong, let there be an enquiry.” In Monday’s order, the court also directed the State not to appoint tainted officers to anti-corruption agencies like the ACB. The judge said, ”The Chief Secretary is directed that before posting officers that too to an institution established for prevention of corruption to take note of the public interest and should not be posting any tainted officers to the helm of affairs of the institution established for the prevention of corruption” The case was listed for hearing on Wednesday. PTI