Rao assumes office as Lokayukta ADGP

Rao was one of the officers pulled up by the High Court for non-execution of a warrant issued by the JMFC Sandur against former minister Janardhana Reddy for the alleged demolition of Sugalamma Devi temple, but the State government had decided to bring him in place of Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar on Thursday.

The High Court had taken objection to Rao’s inaction in the face of nine unexecuted warrants issued against Reddy when Rao was the IGP of the Eastern Range based in Davangere.

In the affidavit submitted by the State, in response to a PIL filed by advocate G R Mohan, the government had admitted that senior police officials Rao, former DG&IG Ajai Kumar Singh and then Bellary SP Seemanth Kumar Singh were indeed responsible for not having taken prompt action in enforcing the warrant.

Principal Secretary S M Jaamdar had also submitted to the court that action would be taken against the officials within a week. While junior officials were to be suspended, similar action was taken against senior officials after permission from the competent authority.

This was submitted to the High Court on August 24, 2011.

Following this, seven junior officials were suspended, while Jaamdar had sent a proposal to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms to take action against the three IPS officers. Subsequently, notices were issued to the three officers by DPAR. Sources in the department said all three officers had furnished their responses. No decision has been taken to further the matter.

The short stint of Gaonkar as ADGP of Lokayukta has been eventful, as he was entrusted with several high-profile cases by the Special Lokayukta Court. Prominent among these have been the complaints filed against former chief minister Yeddyurappa, former minister Krishnaiah Setty and ministers R Ashoka and Murugesh Nirani.

The transfer came 48 hours after Yeddyurappa was released from jail, where he had been incarcerated for 23 days.

Until Friday evening, Gaonkar had not received his transfer order. It was only after a ‘movement order’ was despatched from the DG&IG office that Gaonkar handed over the reins to Rao.

Sources in the Lokayukta said Rao seemed keen to take charge immediately as he was said to have made repeated calls to the Lokayukta office to know when he could assume office.

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