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HC stays single judge direction on Vigilance functional freedom

HC stays single judge direction on Vigilance functional freedom

Kochi: The High Court on Wednesday stayed a single judge’s order appointing two amici curiae to assist the court in taking a call on provisional autonomy and functional freedom of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The stay is following an appeal filed by the State government in the High Court against the order.

In its order last month, the single judge had directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to file a report on its functional structure and requisite changes recommended to the state government in the matter of its provisional autonomy and organisational freedom.

Giving the direction, Justice Alexander Thomas had granted three weeks time to Kerala State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to file the report. The judge had appointed senior lawyer K. Jayakumar as a senior amicus curiae and lawyer P.B. Krishnan as the other amicus curiae to assist the court.

Challenging these directions, the State government filed an appeal complaining that without any pleadings, the single judge had deviated from the issues and passed directions.

The government claimed the Vigilance manual has the force of law and the bench did not find any illegality in the constitution of the vigilance department.

The appeal was filed by the Home Secretary and others on behalf of the state government.

The single judge had issued the order while considering a petition seeking a direction to the Vigilance to submit the investigation report in the bar bribery case allegedly involving some ministers in the state cabinet.

The court had in the past expressed its displeasure over the functioning of the Vigilance.

The petition was filed by an NGO, All Kerala Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Protection council' of Palakkad.

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