Karnataka High Court Justice H P Sandesh has slammed the BJP government in Karnataka for allegedly threatening to transfer him for standing against corruption of a former deputy commissioner of Bangalore and the ADGP of Anti Corruption Branch (ACB). However, the judge made it clear that no matter how much pressure was put on him, he would not bow down. He is determined to uphold the dignity of the judiciary.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been vocal about this incident. He tweeted, “The BJP is crushing one organization after another.”
Bangalore City Deputy Commissioner Manjunath J has been arrested by the state government for taking bribe after the judge expressed his displeasure. The state government has suspended him.
Sandesh, the judge, wanted to know at the court in the last trial that before the posting of ADGP of ACB, did the government of Basavaraj Bommai examine his credibility. As the CBI had earlier conducted a search against the IPS officer during his tenure as police superintendent. The judge also asked the ACB how many search warrants were issued, how many of them were actually searched and in how many cases the charge sheet could not be submitted due to lack of evidence in the preliminary investigation (‘B’ report).
Incidentally, the deputy commissioner was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of rupees 5 lakh. The judge expressed his displeasure during the hearing of his bail application. The judge said he had learned from a fellow judge that the judge had been transferred earlier in a similar corruption case. Justice Sandesh has called the incident an interference in the independence of the judiciary. “It is my duty to protect the judiciary. I am accountable to the constitution alone. I want to see if the constitution or that IPS of North India is more powerful,” he said. After that, he said, he will not bow to any kind of threat. As a farmer’s son, he will cultivate as needed but will not tolerate insults. He mentioned that he is also not greedy about being the judge of supreme court.
The judge rebuked the ACB as a ‘collection centre’. Alongside that, he also regarded ADGP Seemant Kumar Singh of ACB as a corrupted officer.
Various allegations of the judge
Regarding the threatening the judge said, he is not afraid. According to him, “I did not try to acquire more wealth after becoming a judge. So I am not bothered about my post being gone.” Justice Sandesh also mentioned that he does not follow any political ideology.
Regarding the ACB’s report, Justice Sandesh said that ‘B’ has been reported in the case where the accused has been caught red-handed. He also expressed dissatisfaction over why the detailed report is not being submitted. Addressing the ACB, the judge said, “Are you saving the people or the one who is a tainted person? … Corruption has turned into cancer. It cannot be allowed to reach the fourth level. Officers are threatening to issue a search warrant.”