Bannurmath opts out of Lokayukta post

former Kerala High Court Chief Justice S R Bannurmath today launched a tirade against Governor H R Bhardwaj for the "unverified and untrue" observations coming from Raj Bhavan against him that had "deeply hurt" him.

Bangalore: Hurt by `personal and reckless`
allegations of Governor HR Bhardwaj who rejected the BJP
Government`s recommendation for his appointment as Lokayukta,
former Kerala high court chief justice SR Bannurmath on Tuesday
opted out of the post ending the three-month long stand-off.

Launching a tirade against Bhardwaj a day after he
`formally` rejected his appointment, Bannurmath questioned the
motive behind the action of Governor. He said Bhardwaj citing
reasons other than alleged land scam linking him can be seen
as "a ploy to give way for other political consideration".

Maintaining that the continued attack in the press on his
integrity and character were totally based on "false,
baseless, legally untenable and hurtful allegations", he told
reporters here that he had requested Chief Minister DV
Sadananada Gowda not to consider him for the post.

"I have lost mental peace and my health is affected on
account of false and baseless allegations affecting my image
and reputation in the eyes of the public. I am not in a
position to bear this torture and humiliation any more," he
said reading out from his letter to Gowda.

Bhardwaj, who had insisted on `spotless` candidate for the
Lokayukta post, had expressed reservations over Bannurmath`s
choice citing a land allotment controversy involving him.

The post of Lokayukta has remained vacant since September
19 after former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj Patil, who
succeeded Santosh Hegde, quit in the wake of allegations of
getting land allotment in violation of rules. `

Karnatka is the second BJP ruled state after Gujarat to be
rocked by a row involving the Governor on the appointment of
Lokayukta. Gujarat has moved the Supreme Court questioning the
Governor`s action in appointing Lokayukta unilaterally without
consulting the state government.

Targeting Bhardwaj, Bannurmath asked: "Is there is no code
of decent conduct expected to be followed and respected by
high Constitutional functionaries in the matter of making
public allegations against a person being considered for the
Lokayukta appointment?"

Asserting that he had `a spotless, clean and blemishless
legal career of 38 years`, he said his choice for Lokayukta
post was based on his `competence` and not because he was from
Lingayat community or his proximity to former chief minister B
S Yeddyurappa, who also hails from the same caste.

He said the "personal and reckless" allegations made by the
Governor raised doubt and many questions which call for
effective answers.


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