Governor accepts Patil's resignation

Governor accepts Patil's resignation

Governor accepts Patil's resignation

“His Excellency, the Governor of Karnataka, is pleased to accept the resignation of Justice Shivaraj V Patil as the Lokayukta of the state with effect from September 20,” a Raj Bhavan missive said.

Patil’s resignation came six weeks after he assumed office as the anti-corruption ombudsman. Patil faced allegations of violating rules by securing allotment of a 9,600-sqft  site at the Judicial Employees Layout in 1994, and his wife a 4,200-sqft site at Nagavara from the Vyalikaval Housing Cooperative Society.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda called on the governor. Speaking to reporters, Gowda said the government would appoint a new Lokayukta soon and that he had discussed the issue with the governor. “We will start the process of appointing a new Lokayukta. We will take a decision soon,” he said. As per law, the Lokayukta is appointed by the governor on the advice of chief minister in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, the Chairman, the Legislative Council, the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.

According to the Lokayukta Act, a person chosen to head the anti-corruption watch dog should have held the office of a judge of the Apex Court or that of the Chief Justice of the High Court.

Upa Lokayukta to head ombudsman
With the governor accepting Lokayukta Shivaraj V Patil’s resignation on Tuesday, the quasi-judicial body is likely to be temporarily headed by the Upa Lokayukta.

According to sources in the Lokayukta office, the Upa Lokayukta will take over as the stand-in ombudsman to ensure that the post does not remain vacant.

“Even if the Upa Lokayukta steps in, it will only be a temporary arrangement. The government will have to take a decision soon on who will be the next Lokayukta,” said the Lokayukta official.

According to the sources, the position of the Lokayukta should be filled in the next two months, given the sensitive nature of the position. Currently, there are as many as 13,000 cases pending before the Lokayukta.

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