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Karnataka starts process to select Lokayukta

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 14:33

Bangalore: Seeking to put the imbroglio
surrounding the appointment of Lokayukta behind it, Karnataka
government on Tuesday kicked off consultation process to select a
figure to head the anti-corruption watchdog.

"Letter will go today itself. Once the reply is received,
it will be decided on what needs to be done", Chief Minister D
V Sadananda Gowda told reporters here.

He was referring to the letters to be sent to opposition
leaders in the Legislative Assembly and Council, presiding
officers of the two Houses and Chief Justice of Karnataka High
Court, as part of the consultation process.

The Lokayukta post has been lying vacant in Karnataka for
the past nearly five months.

After Justice (Retd) V Shivaraj Patil quit in September
within six weeks of assuming office, the government
recommended Justice (Retd) S R Bannurmath for the post but the
Governor refused to accept it, finally leading to the latter
opting out of the race.

Patil and Bannurmath faced allegations that land was
allotted to them in violation of rules, while the Governor
hinted that it was not the only reason in the case of the
latter (for his non-acceptance).

Gowda said the consultation process would be completed in
10 days.

Gowda noted there is a "big debate" on the consultation
process (earlier) not done properly, but asserted that the
Government had followed precedents as well as legal rules in
this context.

Earlier this month, the Chief Justice of Karnataka High
Court Justice Vikramjit Sen wrote to the State government,
saying due processes were not followed in the appointment of
Justice (Retd) Chandrashekaraiah as the Upalokayukta and
demanded his recall at the earliest.

The government has maintained that it`s not correct to
say that the consultation process has not been done properly,
and Gowda had said two days ago he would discuss the matter
with the Chief Justice.

Asked if controversies surrounding the appointments to
Lokayukta and Upalokayukta have dented the image of the State
government, the Chief Minister said it`s for the media and
those "who assess the image" to judge. "It`s not good to give
marks to myself".

He said no politician would admit that a decision taken
by him is not correct and politician would always maintain
that there can never be a better decision.

But Gowda also had a dig at the media, saying instead of
debating the factualness or otherwise of issues, "sensitive
issues and breaking news are overriding truth".


First Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 14:33

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