Padmaraj probe irks Lokayukta

Padmaraj probe irks Lokayukta

Padmaraj probe irks Lokayukta

N Santosh hegde: Credibility of the Lokayukta has been questioned

Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde on Friday blasted the State Government over the setting up of a judicial commission to probe land scams he was looking into.

“The government should wind up the Lokayukta institution if it has no faith in it, like in Punjab and Haryana where such institutions were abolished after they took up investigations into cases of corruption cases,” he said.

Speaking with reporters on the sidelines of the Advocates Day programme organised here, he reacted strongly to the appointment of the Justice B Padmaraj Commission to inquire into the land scams which were being investigated by him.

Although the Lokayuka is still investigating the cases, the government constituted the Justice B Padmaraj Commission to investigate land scam and KIADB scam. “Law does not allow this,” he added.

The government could have sought the Lokayukta’s permission before taking up such a move, he observed. “The Chief Minister wrote to us long after the formation of the commission and we have replied,” he said.

Hegde said he had no personal interest in investigating the denotification case. The case was taken up by the Lokayukta after Y S V Datta had filed a complaint.

“A minister’s son was arrested in the KIADB scam. But submitting the case to the Commission is not right. This questions the credibility of the Lokayukta system,” he added. The government should have realised that there is a possibility of differing results when two separate systems of judiciary investigate the same case.

Hegde asserted that he would complete the inquiry into charges of illegal mining and land scams involving the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board before he retires in eight months. The government has fulfilled only a few demands put forth by him, he said. “I have to work within my own limits. If the government is suspicious of my morality, I cannot help it,” he said.

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