‘Delay in Lokayukta appointment suits K’taka govt’

Former Lokayutka Santosh Hegde believes that Karnataka govt might be `delaying` appointment of the new Lokayukta as it suits it.

Bangalore: Former Karnataka Lokayutka N
Santosh Hegde believes that the Karnataka government might be
"delaying" appointment of the new head to the anti-corruption
agency as it suits it.

Hegde told PTI that he gets a feeling the government is out
to "discredit and destablise" the Lokayukta institution.

Asked about perception in some quarters that the government
has adopted a "delaying tactics", he said: "They (delaying
tactics) would be there because (BJP state unit President K S
Eshwarappa) himself said that the (Lokayukta) should be closed
and he has gone to the extent of saying that this is an
institution of thieves".
Therefore, it suited the government to delay appointing a
new Lokayukta head, Hegde, a key member of Team Anna, said.
"One of the best ways to kill the institution is not to
appoint a head to the institution," he said.

However, Hegde declined to comment on the stand-off between
the BJP government and the Governor H R Bhardwaj on the issue.

"I would not want to comment on it (the stand-off) because
it will be misunderstood," Hegde said.
The government recommended S R Bannurmath, former Chief
Justice of Kerala High Court, nearly four weeks ago but the
Governor has asked it to rethink his name citing reports in a
section of the press (about alleged land-grabbing charges
against him), among others.

Amid indications that the government is firm on the choice
of Bannurmath, Law Minister S Suresh Kumar said last week it
has followed "precedents" and consulted Chief Justice of the
High Court, leaders of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly
and Council and Presiding Officers of both Houses before
recommending the name.

Justice V Shivaraj Patil quit as Karnataka Lokayukta in
September within six weeks in office, after succeeding Justice
Hegde, following allegations of getting a site in a housing
cooperative society in violation of cooperative societies


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