ACB can investigate crimes already taken cognizance of under repealed corruption law: HC

The High Court has ruled that Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) can investigate a crime that it has taken cognizance of under the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act which stands repealed and replaced by a Central Act.

A bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey held that the right accrued to the ACB to investigate a crime, which has taken place prior to coming into force of the Central Act, remained unaffected by section 6 of the General Clauses Act and relevant clauses of J&K Reorganisation (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019.

The repeal shall not affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or  punishment, the court said.

The court pointed out that special power vested with Special Judges in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh in terms of notifications published in the official gazette from time to time under repealed Act, “is also saved in terms of J&K Reorganisation (Removal of Difficulties) Order”.

The court held that all the Special Courts shall continue to exercise their powers as was being done prior to implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.

The Court made these observations while disposing of a plea by a man who was booked by ACB under repealed Prevention of Corruption Act. While seeking anticipatory bail, the accused had also challenged jurisdiction of ACB to investigate the case under the repealed Act.