Belagavi: Karnataka Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimappa on Monday ruled that there can be no discussion on a motion sought to be moved by the Opposition to initiate the process for removal of Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao, embroiled in a row over an alleged extortion racket in his office.
Giving his ruling after discussions in the Business Advisory Committee and consulting the Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar, the Speaker said the issue could not be discussed under the motion as per the current Act, which had to be amended to debate the matter.
However, Thimappa said functioning of the Lokayukta's office can be discussed under a different rule.
Earlier, both BJP and JDS members had raised the issue and asked for discussion, to which Thimappa responded saying he is "carefully" examining their petition for initiating the process for moving the motion to remove Rao, whose son has been linked to the alleged racket.
In a concerted action, BJP and JDS had on Saturday presented a petition signed by 57 MLAs to Thimappa, requesting him to allow a motion for the removal of Rao.
Thimmappa said, "based on this experience it appears that Lokayukta Act needs to be amended, we have brought this to the notice of Chief Minister. Now this needs to be looked into."
To this, BJP members said that an amendment to this effect has to be brought in the present assembly session itself. The government has to spell out its plan of action and 'a good message has to go to public'.
Thimmappa said "good message will go", and proceeded with the functioning of the House.
Opposition parties have demanded a CBI inquiry, which the government has rejected stating that it cannot by itself do so as the Lokayukta is an autonomous body.
Lokayukta was rocked by the alleged scandal recently after its Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang blew the lid off with a letter to its Registrar about the complaint she received from a person, who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs 1 crore in bribe to avoid a raid.
Rao, a former High Court Chief Justice, has rejected allegations that his son was involved in the racket and said he would resign if the charge was proved correct.
Government has handed over the case to Criminal Investigation Department on the request of the Lokayukta.