Disproportionate assets case: HC relief to DKS
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Disproportionate assets case: HC relief to DKS

November 29, 2023

Bengaluru: Subsequent to the Karnataka Government withdrawing consent accorded to the CBI to prosecute Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar (DKS) in the disproportionate assets case, the High Court this morning permitted Shivakumar to withdraw his petition and appeal challenging the consent to prosecute him given to the CBI.

The Court allowed Shivakumar to file a memo seeking to withdraw the appeal filed by him challenging the earlier order. The Single Judge Bench had refused to quash the sanction granted by the previous BJP Government to the CBI to prosecute him.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who appeared for DKS, said since the sanction that is under challenge has been withdrawn by the incumbent Government, the issue has become infructuous and therefore he has instructions to withdraw it.

“The practical issue is very simple. The Writ is filed challenging a sanction. Today, the sanction under challenge is withdrawn. Somebody will challenge, some will not (the sanction) but that is not of concern today. It (Appeal) is infructuous. It is liable to be allowed to be withdrawn,” he argued.

The Karnataka Cabinet headed by CM Siddharamaiah on Nov. 23 held that the previous BJP Government’s move to give consent to the CBI to investigate the disproportionate assets case against Shivakumar, was not in accordance with law and decided to withdraw the sanction.

Another Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the State argued, “At the moment we have withdrawn consent. If the CBI thinks they have jurisdiction they can continue. As far as I am concerned, Section 6 of the Statute is very clear. If they want to challenge it, they are welcome to. But the statute does not give them power. If they think they have the power they are welcome to challenge it (Statute). As far as I am concerned, they have no jurisdiction.”

The CBI counsel, on the other hand, contended by withdrawing consent, how the State could overcome the order of the Single Judge Bench which had vacated the interim stay on CBI probe and ordered the Central agency to complete its investigation and file the final report in a time-bound manner.

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The Bench said, “If the order of the Government is unsustainable, somebody can challenge it.” The HC said that it cannot expand the scope of the appeal to decide on whether the withdrawal of the sanction is good or bad in law.

“It is not in our domain to ask the CBI why this order is not challenged,” the Court said. The counsels were given one hour to file a memo to withdraw the appeal. The HC is on a recess and is expected to give its order on the memo later today.

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