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Supreme Court refuses to lift stay on CBI probe against Karnataka Deputy CM D K Shivakumar

The Supreme Court declined to lift the temporary restraining order placed by the Karnataka High Court on an investigation into a corruption case involving the state’s deputy chief minister, D K Shivakumar.

The high court’s interim stay had been contested by the CBI in a petition to the supreme court. The high court’s order was just an interim one, thus the Supreme Court’s panel of Justices B R Gavai, C T Ravikumar, and Sanjay Kumar decided not to get involved.

Based on the Income Tax Department’s raids on many of Shivakumar’s properties in 2017, the CBI had filed a corruption case against him in October 2020. Shivakumar, according to the agency, accumulated disproportionate assets worth crores of rupees.

The Karnataka High Court granted an interim stay of the investigation in February 2023 after Shivakumar challenged the CBI investigation there. The top court hasn’t taken up the case on the merits yet.

The CBI filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking for the temporary injunction imposed by the high court to be lifted so the agency could carry with its investigation into Shivakumar. The Supreme Court, however, decided against getting involved since it would be premature at this point.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is a setback for the CBI, which was compelled to move forward with its investigation into Shivakumar. The BJP-led state government in Karnataka has come under fire from the opposition parties for allegedly shielding Shivakumar from the CBI investigation.

Shivakumar, who is dealing with major corruption allegations, is also relieved by the Supreme Court’s decision. It’s crucial to remember that the high court’s temporary interim stay is merely that. The stay could still be lifted by the high court, allowing the CBI to carry on its investigation into Shivakumar.

Consequences of the Supreme Court’s ruling

The ruling by the Supreme Court has several ramifications. First of all, it indicates that the CBI investigation into Shivakumar will be suspended pending a merits hearing by the high court. It might take a while, maybe even years.

Second, the CBI has been under pressure to move quickly with its investigation into Shivakumar, thus the ruling is a setback for them. The BJP-led state government in Karnataka has come under fire from the opposition parties for allegedly shielding Shivakumar from the CBI investigation.

Third, Shivakumar, who is facing major corruption allegations, is relieved by the ruling. It’s crucial to remember that the high court’s temporary interim stay is merely that. The stay could still be lifted by the high court, allowing the CBI to carry on its investigation into Shivakumar.

 

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