Governor endorses CJ stand on Upa Lokayukta

Governor H R Bhardwaj on Saturday endorsed the objections raised by High Court Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on the appointment of Justice Chandrashekaraiah as Upa Lokayukta.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at the Raj Bhavan, Bhardwaj and said the State government had not followed the due procedure, and it was now its responsibility to take corrective measures.

He said he had received a copy of Justice Sen’s letter where the Chief Justice had stated that the appointment of the Upa Lokayukta did not conform to the Constitutional provisions, and therefore, had no legal efficacy. “The Chief Justice is unhappy because effective consultation was not followed by the State government (in the appointment of the Upa Lokayukta). It looks like they have deliberately interpreted the law wrongly. I have no role to play; it is for the government to take corrective measures,” he said.

Chandrashekaraiah has ruled out tendering his resignation saying that as far as he is concerned, due process of law has been followed in his appointment.

Though Justice Sen wants a “recall” of Chandrashekaraiah’s appointment, it is not easy to do so, as the Lokayukta and the Upa Lokayukta can be removed from office only after a two-third majority of the State legislature approves it. “Let the government send the proposal and I will sign it,” Bhardwaj said.

The governor said he had also suggested that the government set a fresh precedent by consulting the outgoing Lokayukta while appointing the new Lokayukta/Upa Lokayukta.

Bhardwaj said there were certain powerful people in the government who wanted to destroy the Lokayukta institution. “But I am firm in my resolve that only an independent and honest person should occupy the post. The Lokayukta is an independent body and the nominee should also be a free person,” he said.

On the Opposition’s demand that the three former ministers —Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar — who watched a porn movie inside the State Assembly be disqualified and criminal action initiated against them, Bhardwaj said only the legislature can decide the procedures it has to follow. “In India, the legislatures have their own privileges,” he remarked.

Bhardwaj said during the last two and a half years he has been repeatedly telling the government about the importance of values. “But they do not listen. It has happened in the mining issue, in functioning of the legislature, and in protecting the integrity of the Lokayukta institution,” he said.

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