Sanction for CBI probe against Shivakumar in DA case illegal, so withdrew it: CM Siddaramaiah

Sanction for CBI probe against Shivakumar in DA case illegal, so withdrew it: CM Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru, Nov 24 (PTI) Defending his cabinet's move to withdraw approval for the CBI probe against Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar in a disproportionate assets case, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said, the sanction given by the previous BJP government is illegal.

The cabinet on Thursday deemed the previous BJP government's move to give consent to the CBI to investigate the DA case against Shivakumar as not being in accordance with the law and decided to withdraw the sanction.

The then BJP government had given the sanction on September 25, 2019 following which the central investigating agency registered an FIR against Shivakumar 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 then Siddaramaiah-led Congress government of 2013-2018.

'What we have said is that the sanction given is illegal. For an inquiry on any government servant, the government will have to give sanction. If it is a minister, the Governor should give sanction, and if it is an MLA, the Speaker has to give it. Here the Speaker's permission was not taken. Shivakumar was an MLA when sanction was given,' Siddaramaiah said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said that even before the Advocate General gave his opinion, the order was issued consenting for the CBI to investigate the case by the Chief Secretary, on the basis of oral instructions of the then Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

'We have said this is illegal, as it is not in accordance with law,' he added.

Responding to a question, Siddaramaiah said he would not comment on court decisions; the government will do what it has to.

'The sanction was given illegally (by the previous government), it is not right, we will withdraw the sanction is what we have said...we cannot hinder what the court decides, we cannot interfere, let the court decide what it has to,' he said.

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 DA case.

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

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. PTI KSU RS KSU ANE

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