Examine possibility of taking action against BDA Commissioner: HC tells government
Commissioner had issued note telling staff not to participate in investigations by ACB or BMTF sans his permission
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to examine whether action can be initiated against Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and its Commissioner for asking its staff not to hand over records or participate, without prior permission from the Commissioner, in the investigations conducted by agencies like Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreenivas Oka and Justice S. Vishvajith Shetty issued the direction after noticing contradictions in the affidavit filed by BDA Commissioner H.R. Mahadev and the copy of an official translation of the office note in English, dated July 8, 2020 furnished by the Commissioner himself.
The bench observed that the Commissioner, in his affidavit, had claimed that there was no need to take his permission prior to participating in an investigation, but the copy of the English translation of the note, which was originally issued in Kannada, states that staff require his permission.
Though the advocate for the BDA contended that the English translation, produced by the petitioner, does not give the essence of the note in Kannada, the bench pointed out to the advocate that the translated copy produced along with Commissioner’s affidavit clearly spells out that Commissioner’s permission is required to participate in a probe.
The bench observed that the note issued by the Commissioner attempts to interfere in investigations. The court on October 8 had stayed operation of the note and asked the Commissioner to explain his power to issue such a note that amounts to interference in criminal investigations.