Shettar-led govt serious about appointing Lokayukta: Guv

Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj said the Jagadish Shettar-led government is serious about the appointment of Lokayukta.

Bangalore: Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj on Friday said the Jagadish Shettar-led government is serious about the appointment of Lokayukta and the Chief Minister was in touch with Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen to expedite the process.

"The consultation process has to be gone into. I want it to happen immediately. I think the atmosphere now is such that the government is taking serious steps in the Lokayukta appointment process," he told reporters here.

Shettar had met Justice Sen and discussed the issue, Bhardwaj said, adding, he was also directly in touch with the Chief Justice and requested him to take "more interest" in the process of Lokayukta appointment.

"After the Division Bench judgement of the High Court, it is almost (certain) that the Chief Justice will decide on the issue," he said.

Asked whether he was comfortable with Shettar`s governance, Bhardwaj said he wanted to get along well with the Chief Minister so as to do some work even as the state was reeling under drought.

"He (Shettar) has promised that he will cooperate (with me) and I will in turn do so. Let us do some work," he said.

The post of Lokayukta was lying remained vacant since September 19 last year after former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj Patil, who succeeded high-profile Santosh Hegde, quit in the wake of allegations of getting land allotment in violation of rules.

After his exit, the BJP government recommended the name of former Kerala High Court Chief Justice SR Bannurmath, but the Governor refused to accept it insisting on a "spotless candidate".

On July 23, Karnataka High Court had directed government to begin the process of appointment and rejected its contention that Lokayukta would be appointed after the Supreme Court gave its verdict on a Special Leave Petition challenging the High Court`s order of quashing appointment of Justice Chandrashekaraiah as Upa Lokayukta.

It had observed that the issue before the apex court was about appointment of Upa Lokayukta and the government should initiate consultation on appointing Lokayukta.