The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday quashed the March 14, 2016 order of the then State government forming the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and shifted the cases pending before the ACB to the Lokayukta. The staff and personnel of the ACB would be absorbed in the Lokayukta. The Court then directed the government to appoint competent persons as Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta in public interest.
The judgement of the Division Bench of Justice B Veerappa and Justice K S Hemalekha came on 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 into cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The formation of the ACB through an “executive order" is not justified and Constitutional, the judgement said. With this the ACB stands abolished.
However, the Court said the actions taken by ACB so far would stand. The two 2016 notifications of the government were challenged in a bunch of petitions by various petitioners, including the Advocates Association, Bengaluru, Chidananda Urs and ‘Samaja Parivartana Samudaya’.