Karnataka High Court judge HP Sandesh Monday alleged that he was threatened with transfer for pulling up the additional director general of police (ADGP) of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Justice Sandesh made the remark while hearing the bail petition of former Bengaluru Urban tehsildar Mahesh PS, who was reportedly caught while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh in May 2021.
Mahesh had submitted a statement claiming that he received the bribe on the instruction of the then Bengaluru Urban DC J Manjunath.
Notably, a few hours after Monday’s hearing, the ACB said that it has arrested IAS officer Manjunath.
Subscriber Only Stories
Earlier in the day, Justice Sandesh had criticised the ACB for failing to provide the appointment records of accused number two, Chetan.
The high court in its previous hearing had also pulled up the ACB, terming it a ‘centre of corruption’.
On Monday, Justice Sandesh in open court said that he was informed by a fellow judge that he could be transferred as the ADGP was not happy with his remarks.
“Your ACB ADGP seems to be a powerful person. I was told by my fellow judge that I could be transferred for the remarks. I will record the threat of transfer in the order,” he said.
This is a threat to the independence of judiciary and threat made to the court, he added.
Pulling up the ACB and the advocate appearing on its behalf, Justice Sandesh said he was not afraid of losing any position. “I don’t fear anyone, I am the son of a farmer and ready to till the land. I am not affiliated to any political party or ideology but only to the Constitution. I have not accumulated any property after becoming a judge but have sold 4 acres which my father had,” he said.
Taking a dig at the advocate, the high court judge further said: “Are you protecting the public or tainted persons? It is a noble profession. The black coat is not for the protection of the corrupt. Corruption has become a cancer and it should not reach the fourth stage. The officers are being extorted after threatening them with search warrants.”
“The whole state is suffering because of corruption issues. If Vitamin M (money) is there, you will (ACB) protect anyone. I am aware of the happenings. In how many cases search warrants have been issued and how many have been executed,” he asked.
Tarun Majumdar: The last of the greats of Bengali cinema