Bannurmath opts out of Lokayukta post

Governor sets the ball rolling for selecting a new person

Bannurmath opts out of Lokayukta post

Justice S R Bannurmath, former chief justice of the Kerala High Court, on Monday put an end to the controversy over the nomination of his name for the lokayukta post by rejecting the offer made by the government.

Meanwhile,  Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen reportedly withdrew his suggestion to the State government to appoint Justice S R Bannurmath the next lokayukta.

Governor H R Bhardwaj on Monday quickly set the ball rolling for selecting a new person for the post by formally rejecting Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s recommendation to appoint Justice Bannurmath lokayukta, according to a Raj Bhavan communique.

Following these developments, the government has no choice but to look for a new judge for the lokayukta post.

CM’s stand

The chief minister, however, said he was not aware of the governor rejecting Justice Bannurmath’s name.

Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen is learnt to have withdrawn his suggestion to the State government to appoint Bannurmath lokayukta.

In a letter dated February 2, 2012, to the chief minister, the chief justice is learnt to have expressed dismay at Justice Bannurmath being embroiled in the controversy.

He opined that Justice Bannurmath would no longer be suitable for the position as any decision by the body headed by him would not receive general acceptance.

The chief justice is one of the members of a panel headed by the chief minister to select a new lokayukta.

Presiding officers and leaders of opposition of both Houses of State Legislature are the other members of the committee.

Close on the heels of the chief  justice’s decision, Justice Bannurmath on Monday is learnt to have written a confidential letter to the chief minister informing him that he has opted out of the post.

Justice Bannurmath is hurt over his name being dragged into controversies and, therefore, has decided not to accept the post.

With this, the government has to scout for a new name for the post, which has been vacant ever since Justice Shivaraj Patil quit in October last year over the allegation of illegally getting a residential site from a private house building cooperative society in Bangalore.

The State government and the governor have locked horns over appointing Justice Bannurmath lokayukta.

Justice Bannurmath will convene a press conference on Tuesday to explain the reason behind his decision.

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