The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday requested to Justice H P Sandesh, Karnataka High Court who made remarks against the Anti-corruption Bureau of Karnataka to postpone the hearing by three days.
This happened amid the order passed by Justice Sandesh yesterday, where he put on record the observations he made regarding the threat of transfer conveyed to him by another sitting judge of the same high court for pulling up the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and passing orders against their chief.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Rammna, Justice Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli were hearing a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Karnataka’s ACB against the observations made by Justice Sandesh.
The Bench stated, “ we request to defer the hearing for three more days to allow us to look at the order passed on July 11 and list the hearing on Friday”.
Justice H.P. Sandesh on hearing of a bail application said that he had received the “threat” during a dinner on Court premises, on July 1, on the eve of retirement of the Former Chief justice Ritu Raj Awasthi.
He further said that he received Indirect threats from another Judge after passing orders against ACB chief Seemant Kumar Singh.
The orders were passed to produce all reports filed and Justice Sandesh expressed disappointment with the ACB investigation regarding a corruption case concerning the Deputy Commissioner.
The observations said, “There cannot be a threat to court as it interferes with the dispensation of Justice”. The Senior counsel asked for the name of the Judge who passed the threat but Mr. Sandesh said he can’t make the mistake of naming anyone but he would not hesitate to name the Judge.
Mr.Sandesh mentioned this incident for the first time when he was hearing a bail application of Deputy Tahsildar PS Mahesh, who was alleged for accepting a bribe of 5 lakh to get an order on his behalf in a land dispute case from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office of Bengaluru.
He said, “ Your ADGP is powerful, some person spoke to one of our High Court Judges, and the judge came and sat with me stating the example of transfer of a Judge to some other District“.
“The sitting Judge (whose name is not disclosed) also said that he received a call from Delhi and enquired about me” Justice Sandesh disclosed in open court.
Mr. Sandesh further said, “ I replied saying that I am not affiliated to any political party”. The Judge did not stop there and said ADGP Seemant Kumar Singh is from North India and is powerful”
The court has also recorded in Monday’s order made remarks against ADGP of ACB and his service records. The court apart from asking for records of ‘B’ reports in corruption cases also asked for Singh’s service records and details against him in the mining bribery case.
Mr. Singh filed a petition in the High Court seeking to expunge the remarks made against him.
The live stream of court proceedings got frozen for some time and the Court is waiting for an order from the apex court to be uploaded.
Mr. Singh (ACB Chief) was investigated for corruption by the CBI ( C0entral Bureau of Investigation) in connection to an illegal mining racket in 2009-10 when he was SP (Superintendent of Police) of Ballari district of Karnataka.
Monday’s order by High Court Judge Sandesh also said that the state should not appoint corrupted officers to an institution that is established to prevent corruption. The case was listed for hearing on Wednesday.
The Judge said, “ The Chief Secretary is directed that before posting officers to institutions established for the prevention of corruption should take note in the public interest and should not post corrupted officers to helm the affairs of such institution”