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State government cannot seek CBI probe into bribery charge against Lokayukta, says Siddaramaiah

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday ruled out a CBI probe into the bribery charge against the Lokayukta, saying the state government did not have powers to do so against an independent anti-corruption body.

“The state government has no powers to seek a CBI probe into a bribery charge in an independent institution like Lokayukta or against its ombudsman,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

Upalokayukta Justice Subash B. Adi, on Saturday sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into charges against an unidentified person in the Lokayukta, who claimed to be close to Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao and allegedly sought Rs.1 crore from a state public works department engineer on April 21, after Rao on Friday unilaterally ordered the Crime Branch to investigate.

Former Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde also favoured probing such a serious charge by the country’s premier investigating agency.

“Bribery charges within the institution will make people lose faith in it. It is better to shut it than allowing it to just raid officials and not others. Framing charges and conviction rate are far less than the number of graft cases booked,” he said.

Adi contended on Saturday that the Crime Branch cannot hold an inquiry without first filing an FIR, lacks expertise to conduct such a probe and was below Lokayukta in the judicial hierarchy.

In a related development, the Lokayukta office on Sunday decided to urge the state government to appoint any other independent agency to probe the charge, as Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) M. Chandra Shekar declined on the grounds that his father-in-law M. Rama Nanjappa was caught accepting Rs.50 lakh bribe when he was a special commissioner for urban land acquisition and was facing proceedings by the Lokayukta office in the case.

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PM Modi Slammed for “Destroying” CBI: Congress on Alok Verma’s Case

The Congress on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, saying he has been exposed for "destroying" the premier investigating agency.

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narendra modi
Image: IANS

The Congress on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, saying he has been exposed for “destroying” the premier investigating agency.

“Modi adds another first to his list. After being the first Prime Minister to be exposed destroying the CBI before the Supreme Court, after having ruined the CVC’s (Central Vigilance Commission) credibility (requiring supervision by former SC judge), Modi has now become first Prime Minister to have his illegal orders set aside by the Supreme Court,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a series of tweets.

His remarks came soon after the Supreme Court judgment pronounced on a plea by Verma and NGO Common Cause challenging the government’s decision on the intervening night of October 23-24 to divest Verma of his charge as head of the investigating agency.

Reminding Modi that the government comes and goes but the integrity of the institutions survive, Surjewala hoped that the judgement would be a “lesson” to the Prime Minister about the strength of country’s democracy and the Constitution.

“Modiji please remember, governments have come and gone. Integrity of our institutions have survived. Let this be a lesson to you about the strength of our democracy and the Constitution. Let this be a lesson that howsoever despotic you may be, law catches up in the end,” he said.

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Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Wikimedia

Firing salvo at Prime Minister, the Congress leader said: “After making CBI Chief suffer the consequences of your illegal decision for three months, will you show the courage to return three months of lost tenure? Unless you are afraid of investigation into Rafale scam.

“Modi equals to ‘Muzzling of Democratic Institutions’. First, you lose four economic advisors in a row including two RBI Governors. Second, four Supreme Court judges go public on Judge (B.H.) Loya, then you destroy credibility and competence of the CBI and CVC. This is your model of ‘minimum governance, maximum government’,” he added.

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Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned the Supreme Court verdict asking what has changed now.

“Before the Supreme Court verdict; Alok Verma didn’t have powers of CBI Chief, couldn’t take any decision on policy or investigation. After Supreme Court verdict: Ditto,” Singhvi tweeted. (IANS)