CJ wants recall of Upa Lokayukta

Sen says Chandrashekaraiahs appointment is illegal

Chief Justice of  Karnataka High Court Justice Vikramajit Sen has asked the State government to revoke the appointment of Justice Chandrashekaraiah as Upa Lokayukta, on the grounds that he (the Chief Justice) was not consulted by the state government, causing the beleaguered government acute embarrassment.

Chandrashekaraiah

In a strongly worded letter to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the Chief Justice stated that the appointment did not conform to constitutional provisions and therefore has no legal efficacy. In his seven-page letter dated February 4, Justice Sen stated he had not recommended the name of Justice Chandrashekaraiah for consideration for appointment as Upa Lokayukta.

As per section 3(2)(b) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act 1984, a person to be appointed as Upa Lokayukta shall be appointed on the advice tendered by the chief minister in consultation with the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, presiding officers of the Legislative Council and Assembly and also the Leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses of the legislature.

In his letter, the Chief Justice recalled that during a meeting on January 25, he had conveyed to the chief minister that the candidature of Justice Chandrashekaraiah cannot be approved because of certain events that had occurred in the past.

The government had understood the true meaning of “in consultation with the chief justice” as expounded by the Supreme Court, the letter states.

Yet, it says, the government went ahead with the Justice Chandrashekaraiah’s appointment. Chief Justice Sen stated that consultation “is not an empty formality” and has objected to calling for suggestion of a name from the Chief Justice and tendering advice to the Governor to appoint somebody else.

He further stated that the consultation should have been “full and effective”.

Therefore, “full and identical” facts should have been placed before the Chief Justice in order to satisfy the legal requirements of consultation.

“I reiterate that in this particular case, not even the name was shared by you (the chief minister) with me (the chief justice) leave alone eliciting my views on the suitability of the person for holding the post of Upa Lokayukta....The appointment does not conform to the constitutional provision and therefore has no legal efficacy”, the letter states.

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