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Karnataka: DyCM DK Shivakumar evades CBI probe for now, but challenges await ahead

The High Court temporarily relieves DK Shivakumar from a CBI probe after the state government withdraws permission. While the court grants respite, ongoing proceedings by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) persist. Legal complexities linger amid allegations of wealth gain, posing potential challenges despite this interim relief.

Karnataka: DyCM DK Shivakumar evades CBI probe for now, but challenges await ahead vkp
First Published Nov 30, 2023, 9:36 AM IST

A recent development in the High Court has temporarily relieved Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar from the CBI investigation initiated by the previous BJP government regarding alleged wealth gain beyond income. The court permitted Shivakumar to withdraw the petition and appeal related to the dispute, effectively settling the case.

However, this respite might be short-lived, as potential challenges loom. If the government's decision to retract permission for the CBI probe is questioned and brought back to court, legal battles could reignite. However, ongoing criminal proceedings by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case are pending in Delhi's Special Court.

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What happened at the High Court?

In the courtroom, the state government officially withdrew the approval granted by the previous administration for the CBI investigation on November 24, followed by a notification on November 28. Subsequently, DK Shivakumar's counsel submitted a memo seeking the withdrawal of the contentious application and appeal, which the High Court approved.

The court's order emphasized that, as of now, no challenges have arisen against the government's decision to revoke CBI investigation approval. The bench acknowledged the appellant's plea to withdraw their application and appeal, citing the government's policy shift as the basis for invalidating the dispute.

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During the proceedings, senior advocates representing Shivakumar highlighted the withdrawal of the state government's approval to the CBI, rendering the dispute petition irrelevant. The High Court granted the request for withdrawal in light of this significant policy change.

Background of the case

This legal episode stemmed from the BJP government's authorization on September 25, 2022, for a CBI investigation into the alleged wealth gain. Earlier, Shivakumar's petition seeking cancellation of the order was dismissed by a single-member bench of the High Court on April 20, 2023. Challenging this decision, Shivakumar appealed to the Division Bench, which temporarily halted the CBI probe. Subsequently, the current state government moved to retract the permission granted for the CBI investigation.

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However, the question of the FIR registered by the CBI remains in contention. The CBI asserted that the investigation had commenced but remained partial. With the government's withdrawal of permission, the CBI argued against the Supreme Court's judgment, stating that only the court, not the government, can dismiss an FIR. The High Court refrained from making an immediate decision on this matter. This recent legal development marks a momentary relief for Shivakumar from the CBI inquiry, yet potential challenges and legal complexities persist on the horizon.

"I have faced all this trouble for simply doing party work. I haven't done anything wrong. All I've done is work for the party and endure a lot because of it. Both God and the people of the state stand by me. I'm not yet sure what's happening in the court."

- DK Shivakumar, Deputy Chief Minister

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