SC Asks 'Threatened' Karnataka HC Judge To Defer Case Hearings for 3 Days

Justice H P Sandesh alleged that he was threatened for pulling up the state's Anti-Corruption Bureau in a hearing.

Hindi Female

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 12 July asked Justice H P Sandesh, a Karnataka High Court judge who alleged that he was threatened for pulling up the Karnataka Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a corruption case, to defer hearings in the case for three more days, LiveLaw reported.

This came after Justice Sandesh reiterated the allegation in a written order on Monday, 11 July.

The bench of CJI NV Ramanna and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli made the request while hearing a batch of pleas filed by the ACB and its head, Seemant Kumar Singh, against Justice Sandesh.

The CJI reportedly asked for the deferral as the high court judge's order was not yet uploaded.

"We request the learned judge to defer the hearing for a period of three days to enable us to look into the order passed on 11 July. List the matter on Friday," the Supreme Court bench stated.

The Written Order

In an interim order, the High Court judge had also directed the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) against appointing "tainted officers" to posts that involve public interest.

The written record, echoing his remarks made during a court hearing on 4 July, stated that a sitting judge of the High Court had warned him against his comments at the farewell dinner for the former Chief Justice of Karnataka, Ritu Raj Awasthi, The Indian Express reported.

On 4 July, Justice Sandesh had alleged that the judge threatened him with transfer, since the additional director general of police (ADGP) of the ACB had expressed unhappiness with the judge’s remarks against the agency.

The court was hearing a bail application filed by an accused who was caught red-handed accepting a bribe at the office of Bengaluru Urban District Commissioner J Manjunath.


What More Did Justice Sandesh Allege?

As per Justice Sandesh, the other judge asserted that “he had received a call from Delhi (name not disclosed)," who asked about Justice Sandesh and his affiliations, The Indian Express report said.

“He said the ADGP is from north India and he is powerful,” the High Court judge added.

The judicial official indicated that he had reported the threats to the appropriate authorities, noting that they may impact the independence of the judiciary.

He reportedly added that the perceived warning amounted to interference with the dispensation of justice.

Last week, the Karnataka High Court had called the ACB a "centre of corruption" and "collection centre" and had said that the ACB is presently “headed by a tainted ADGP.”

(With inputs from The News Minute, The Indian Express, and LiveLaw.)

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Topics:  KARNATAKA   Karnataka High Court   ACB 

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