New Delhi, June 27: An institution that probes corruption is allegedly mired in corruption. The Karnataka Lokayukta which is facing bribery allegations will now be probed by the CCB or the Central Crime Branch.
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There are many questions that come to mind in this case, the first one being what locus standi will the institution have to probe corruption cases when it faces one itself.
Several officials formerly associated with the Lokayukta tell OneIndia that the attempts are being made to ruin this institution and it high time they cleaned up their own house before pointing fingers at others.
Is the CCB competent to probe corruption charges?
In Karnataka the only body which is competent to probe corruption charges is the Lokayukta itself. Corruption cases need to be probed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. While in some states there is the anti corruption bureau, in Karnataka it has always been the Lokayukta.
Now that this is a case involving the Lokayukta the only other body which can probe under the Prevention of Corruption Act is the Central Bureau of Investigation.
According to social activist, S R Hiremath the probe into the corruption allegations against the Lokayukta should have been probed by the CBI.
Moreover the Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice Bhaskar Rao should have gone on leave and returned only after the probe was completed. Hiremath also alleges that Justice Rao had not acted on the complaints that were brought to his notice.
Should Lokayukta not probe corruption cases?
The next question that comes to mind is what locus standi does a Lokayukta have now to probe into corruption cases when there are allegations against the institution itself?
While morality may demand that the Lokayukta first clean up its own house, it is not legally possible to put other cases on hold. The proceedings that are going on cannot be stopped. A former member of the institution informed that the allegations are not against all officers in the Lokayukta.
There are cases which are being probed under the Prevention of Corruption Act and these should continue. However no investigation should be done at the behest of the Lokayukta himself until his own house is cleaned up, the officer also informed.
Justice Rao, the Lokayukta of Karnataka said at a press conference announced that he has handed over the case to the CCB for further investigation. He said people would doubt the credibility of the probe results if it had been carried on by the Lokayukta police and hence the CCB was roped in.
Allegations of corruption came to the limelight after a PWD engineer said that a man, claiming to be Krishna Rao, called him and asked him to come to the Joint Commissioner, Lokayukta office, and demanded a bribe of Rs. 1 crore to prevent a Lokayukta raid against him.