Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLC AH Vishwanath on Friday welcomed the Karnataka High Court's decision to abolish the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and said that all three major political parties have been shaken by this decision.
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday abolished the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), formed by the Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah and transferred all pending cases before the ACB to the Lokayukta Police division.
Addressing a press conference, the BJP MLC said that Lokayukta was brought to eliminate political corruption but it was demolished by the state government.
"The leaders of all the three major political parties have been shaken by the decision of the High Court to abolish the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)," said Vishwanath.
"The verdict is welcome. Lokayukta was brought to eliminate political corruption. It was demolished by the state government in 2014,'" he said.
He said that Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Leader of the JDS Legislature Party HD Kumaraswamy also did not give a good response.
"The former Chief Minister went to jail because of the Lokayukta. A money counting machine was found in BJP leader KS Eshwarappa's house. Due to all this, there was a clamour to close the Lokayukta. He alleged that Siddaramaiah had acted in addition to that," he said.
Vishwanath said that Lokayukta is needed to curb political corruption and the state government should empower the Lokayukta without any hesitation.
"Lokayukta should not be weakened for the protection of some leaders", he said.
"Even JDS chief HD Deve Gowda has not welcomed the High Court verdict. Because his son Balakrishna's case is also in Lokayukta. He analysed that corruption is the bread and butter of everyone's house," he added.
Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the state government will discuss the high court judgment abolishing the state's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a cabinet meeting soon.
"We have seen Karnataka HC's judgment on abolishing Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). We will discuss our next step in the Cabinet meeting keeping our (2018 Assembly election) manifesto in mind," CM Bommai said.
In 2016, the Siddaramaiah government formed the ACB, curtailing the powers of the Lokayukta.A division bench comprising Justice B Veerappa and Justice K S Hemalekha said that all pending cases before the ACB will now get transferred to the Lokayukta Police division.
The order was passed in connection with the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Chidananda Aras, advocates' association and social activist SR Hiremath's Samaj Parivartan community challenging the formation of ACB.Reacting to the High Court's order Siddaramaiah said, "I have not yet seen the order on the issue of High Court quashing the ACB".
Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, said that after seeing the order, he will respond.
"ACB was formed by separating Lokayukta. We respect the decision of the High Court. Haven't seen what the order is. He said he will respond after seeing the order. ACB was an independent investigative body. ACB is there not only in Karnataka but also in many states. ACB should be in Lokayukta," said Siddaramaiah.
He said that now the High Court has decided that there is no need for independent existence. (ANI)