Dismissing the challenge to proceedings against former Karnataka Lokayukta and former Chief Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao in a corruption and extortion case, the Karnataka High Court has held that the Lokayukta is not protected under the Judges (Protection) Act, 1985. Justice Anand Byrareddy also held that no prior notice to prosecute former Lokayuktas was required under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, as he had resigned from office.
Justice Rao, who was the former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, had challenged the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) before the Lokayukta special court arraigning him as accused number 7, in the corruption and extortion scam within the anti-corruption body Lokayukta.
The court observed: “it is evident from a prima facie examination of the allegations against the petitioner that the offences alleged against the petitioner are certainly not connected with the actions that could be relatable to the discharge of the official functions by the petitioner.”
Referring to provisions of the Judges (Protection) Act and Karnataka Lokayukta Act, the court observed: “Under the provisions of the KL Act, the Lokayukta does not render any judgments, as he has no occasion to decide. Secondly, the protection under Section 3 is available only in respect of such any act committed while acting in the discharge of his official or judicial duty or function.”
Read the Judgment here.