Karnataka HC dismisses Shivakumar’s petition challenging sanction to prosecute him

Shivakumar has been charged under Section 13(2), Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday dismissed the petition by state Congress president D K Shivakumar challenging the sanction given by the State Government to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for prosecuting him.

Following a request by the central agency, the State Government had given the sanction on September 25, 2019, based on which it had filed an FIR against him on October 3, 2020.

Shivakumar had challenged both the sanction and the FIR in two separate petitions before the High Court.

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The court had earlier this week reserved its judgment on the petition challenging the sanction.

On Wednesday, it had adjourned the hearing of the other petition challenging the FIR to May 30. On Thursday evening, the single-judge bench of Justice K Natarajan dismissed the petition challenging the sanction.

The Income Tax Department had conducted a search and seizure operation in the offices and residence of Shivakumar in 2017. Based on it, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) started its own probe against Shivakumar. Following the ED investigation, the CBI sought sanction from the State Government to file an FIR against him.

Shivakumar had challenged the sanction on grounds that this was a politically motivated FIR, and three earlier FIRs have already been filed against him in relation to disproportionate income.

Since he was an MLA, the permission of the Speaker of the Assembly had to be obtained which was not done in this case. The Government had also not mentioned the reasons for granting the sanction.

The CBI had objected to the petition stating that the accused cannot demand which agency should conduct investigation against him.

It argued that since the CBI was enacted under a special act, there was no need to mention the reasons to grant sanction for prosecution.

It was claimed that 90 per cent of the investigation was complete. The CBI had also submitted a status report on the investigation to the court. Since it was a special case related to disproportionate income the petition was sought to be dismissed.

Shivakumar has been charged under Section 13(2), Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

While the High Court dictated the dismissal of Shivakumar’s petition on Thursday evening, the copy of the judgment is awaited.

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