“I do not agree with that, and therefore, sent back the name as his (Bannurmath) name is embroiled in a number of controversies,” the governor told mediapersons on the sidelines of a function here to mark the completion of 150 years of the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) of India.
Bannurmath is facing allegations of securing allotment of a residential site in a judicial layout on a land earmarked for civic amenities.
On a sarcastic note, Bhardwaj said it wasn’t difficult to find a judge who has no controversy. “It is very simple. Anyone can go on the Internet, search for the names of former chief justices and select people who don’t have a controversial background,” he quipped.
The post of the Lokayukta has been lying vacant for the past two months after Justice Shivraj Patil quit over a land controversy, with opinion divided between the government and the Opposition on appointing Bannurmath as the head of the ombudsman. Patil, who had taken charge from Santosh Hegde in August, had quit after a controversy arose over the allotment of housing sites to him and his wife in alleged violation of rules.
The governor said he would not allow the government to demolish the status and power of the Lokayukta.
Condemning the transfer of Lokayukta ADGP Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar, he said: “The transfer of Gaonkar is a very bad decision of the State government. They should have thought better before taking such a decision. Transfers of Lokayukta police officials set a bad precedent... it should not have happened.”
‘CAG reports technical’
Earlier, H Shankara Murthy, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said CAG reports tended to be technical and conservative. He said he had raised the issue with CAG in October.
“The committee proposed that a simple, user-friendly epitome containing cause-and-effect analysis of the contents of a report should be presented along with the regular report,” he said.
The governor claimed that for a strong economy to arise, institutions such as the CAG needed to perform to their best, without indulging in corruption.
“They work for the good of the people and check on arbitrariness. It is very important to ensure public funds are not wasted. This can only be ensured by the CAG,” he said.