Karnataka govt to begin fresh process for Lokayukta selection

Karnataka govt to begin fresh process for Lokayukta selection

After its vain bid to install former Kerala Chief Justice S R Bannurmath as the Lokayukta, Karnataka Government is set to start afresh tomorrow the consultation process for picking a new candidate and hoped to complete the exercise in about ten days.

The government has decided to scout for a new candidate in view of Bannurmath's choice being rejected by Governor H R Bhardwaj and the former judge himself opting out of the post, lying vacant for about five months now.

"I will commence the consultation process from tomorrow itself. Will write to the High Court Chief Justice, presiding officers of both the Houses of the legislature and also the floor leaders of opposition parties," Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda told reporters here.

The government wants to complete the exercise of appointing a new Lokayukta within ten days, Gowda said indicating it wanted to bring the curtains down on the issue.

In October last year, the BJP Government recommended Bannurmath's name for the Lokayukta post, but in the wake of a controversy surrounding land acquired by the retired judge, Bhardwaj refused his consent.

On Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen objecting to appointment of former judge Chandrashekharaiah as a Upa-Lokayukta, Gowda ruled out seeking his resignation and asserted procedures had been followed while appointing him.

Gowda, however, said he would try to find a solution to the issue over Chandrasekharaiah's appointment by meeting the Chief Justice, who has said he was not consulted by the government as required under the Lokayukta Act.

Gowda said he would expand his ministry after presenting the budget and shed additional portfolios like revenue, health and others held by him. He now holds 16 portfolios in all.

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