Pleas of K’taka ADGP, arrested IAS officer against Justice H.P. Sandesh in SC

The Supreme Court on Monday is likely to take up appeals of Karnataka’s Chief of Anti-Corruption bureau ADGP Seemanth Kumar Singh and jailed senior IAS officer J. Manjunath against the remarks made by state High Court Justice H.P. Sandesh.

The state government has also submitted a petition against the High Court observations.

The sensational development of Justice Sandesh rapping the ruling BJP government followed by the arrest of senior bureaucrats have raised the debate of judicial activism in the state.

Former Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district J. Manjunath, who has been arrested and lodged in prison in connection with corruption case, has submitted an application objecting to unwarranted remarks made by Justice Sandesh.

“After uncalled for remarks by Justice Sandesh, I have been facing a media trial,” he had stated in his petition. ADGP Seemanth Kumar Singh had also submitted a petition seeking relief from the Apex court against the remarks made against him by Justice Sandesh.

The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India has consented to look into the petitions and both petitions will come before the bench on Monday, according to sources.

A bench headed by CJI Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, had requested Justice Sandesh to defer the hearing in the matter for three days.

ACB Chief Seemath Kumar Singh had sought expunction of adverse remarks of Justice Sandesh and proceedings in the Karnataka High Court. Justice Sandesh had earlier while looking into the bail petition of the accused in the corruption case stated that ACB wing has been turned into a collections center.

He charged that closure reports are filed recklessly for money and all this is happening due to appointment of the tainted officer referring to ACB Chief Singh.

He had also sought reports on closure of cases by ACB since 2016 and also directed the counsel to submit confidential service records of ADGP Singh.

Justice Sandesh maintained that he had been threatened of transfer through a judge and also asked to be careful about the officer as he had got transfer of judge already. “What if the fence eats up the crop? I can’t turn a blind eye. I am not sticking to this job. I will go back to my village and carry out agriculture,” he had stated.

Justice Sandesh’s remarks against the system compelled ruling BJP to act and resulted in the arrest of ADGP Amrit Paul and DC Manjunath in separate cases. The video of Justice Sandesh rapping the counsel and taking the government to task has gone viral. The Supreme Court has also questioned the counsel for ADGP Singh about the transfer threat to Justice Sandesh.

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