Previous BJP govt decision to give Shivakumar assets case to CBI not as per law: Karnataka cabinet

Previous BJP govt decision to give Shivakumar assets case to CBI not as per law: Karnataka cabinet

Bengaluru, Nov 23 (PTI) The Karnataka cabinet on Thursday held that the previous BJP government's decision to accord sanction to the CBI to prosecute Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar in a disproportionate assets case against him was not in accordance with law.

The Congress government is now expected to issue an order withdrawing the approval given to the CBI vis-a-vis case against its state President.

'The cabinet held that keeping in view the opinions of the old Advocate General and new Advocate General, bypassing and overlooking the speaker, the decision that was taken, was not in accordance with law,' Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H K Patil told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

Without sharing additional details, he said, 'Based on this cabinet decision administrative orders will be issued in a couple of days.' According to official sources, Shivakumar was not part of the cabinet meeting.

Noting that the previous government had decided to hand over the investigation against Shivakumar to the CBI, Patil said, 'CBI was given sanction on the basis of Chief Minister's verbal order, without taking Speaker's approval as required by law.' Previous government's Advocate General and the current government's Advocate General's opinions were seriously considered by the cabinet, he said.

'Without taking approval of the Speaker, illegally and in violation of rules, the action was taken, it is not in accordance with law.' The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday adjourned to November 29 the hearing of the appeal filed by Shivakumar against the sanction accorded by the previous government to the CBI to prosecute him in the disproportionate assets case.

It adjourned the hearing after a joint memo was filed by Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, and senior counsel Uday Holla, who was appearing for Shivakumar.

On November 15, the CBI had informed the high court that the Supreme Court has directed the HC to hear the application filed by the investigating agency seeking vacation of stay granted on the appeal preferably within two weeks.

The HC therefore fixed the date of hearing for November 22.

However, on Wednesday, the ASG informed the court that the CBI would present its arguments on November 27, since he had another case before the Supreme Court at the same time. He submitted the counsel for the appellant could be allowed to present their case today itself.

The HC said that there would be no hearings on November 27.

Shivakumar's counsel Holla submitted that he needed only 30 minutes to argue the case and said he had no objection to adjourning the hearing.

The HC directed both the counsels to submit a joint memo for adjournment and then adjourned the hearing to November 29.

A single judge bench had earlier dismissed Shivakumar’s petition challenging the sanction of September 25, 2019 granted by the government to prosecute him.

Shivakumar then challenged it before the division bench which had stayed the single judge order. The CBI had filed an application for vacation of this stay.

Based on the Income Tax Department's search operations in Shivakumar's home and offices in 2017, the Enforcement Directorate started its own probe against him. Based on the ED investigation, the CBI sought sanction from the state government to register a case against him.

The state government had given the sanction on September 25, 2019. The CBI had registered an FIR against him on October 3, 2020.

The CBI has claimed that Shivakumar amassed wealth to the tune of Rs 74.93 crore, disproportionate to known sources of his income from April 1,2013 to April 30, 2018, when he was the Energy Minister in the first Siddaramaiah-led Congress government. PTI KSU RS ROH

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