I can’t appoint Lokayukta: Karnataka Governor

Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj said he cannot name the new anti-corruption ombudsman in the state without the government`s approval.

Bangalore: Amid the controversy over the
issue of appointment of Lokayukta by the Governor in Gujarat,
Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on Wednesday said he cannot name
the new anti-corruption ombudsman in the state without the
government`s approval.

"I cannot appoint a Lokayukta. I don`t think any High Court
can appoint Lokayukta. The (Karnataka Lokayukta) Act is very
clear. Without the approval of the Government, it cannot be
done. I don`t subscribe to that view. It involves multiple
consultation process", he told reporters here.
Bhardwaj, who was responding to a question on the Gujarat
High Court majority verdict upholding the appointment of R A
Mehta as Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal, said "Why do you
bring in Gujarat here. I have requested the Chief Minister (D
V Sadananda Gowda) to send a proposal to me."

Under the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, the state government
has to consult leaders of opposition and Presiding officers in
both the houses legislatures and advise the Governor on the
appointment of a Lokayukta.

Karnataka is also witnessing a standoff between the BJP
Government and the Governor on the appointment of Lokayukta,
leaving the post vacant for the last four months.

The Government has recommended the name of former Kerala
High Court chief justice S R Bannurmath as Lokayukta, but it
has been rejected by Bhardwaj, who is insisting on a
`spotless` person for the post.
Bhardwaj said "Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda is making
efforts on appointment of new lokayukta... I can`t appoint
Lokayukta. I can`t send names. I am not entitled to send
names", he said.

Bhardwaj said Gowda had sought time to consider his
suggestion for recommending the name of another judge.

He asserted that he has been working in accordance with
law and added "until the Chief Minister gives me his
recommendation, I cannot appoint Lokayukta".

"I don`t think I have such powers. Without the approval of
the Goverment, I can`t appoint Lokayukta," the Governor said
while admitting that the process of dealing with corrupt had
slowed down in the wake of the post of Lokayukta remaining

Former supreme court judge Shivaraj Patil had resigned as
Lokayukta in September a month after taking charge following
allegations that he secured allotment of a site in violation
of rules.

On Lokayukta Police filing a "B" report giving a clean
chit to Home Minister R Ashoka in a case relating to alleged
corruption, he said it was the government duty to appoint good
lawyers to handle corruption cases.


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