No need for CJ nod to appoint Upa Lokayukta: Govt

The State government, in its objections to a petition in the High Court challenging the appointm- ent of Justice Chandrashek- araiah as Upa Lokayukta, on Monday, submitted that the Chief Minis ter had conducted the process of appointment, as required under law, by consulting the constitutional functionaries. 

Upa Lokayukta Justice Chandrashekaraiah in his objections said that the Chief Minister was not bound by the opinion of the Chief Justice in appointing the Upa Lokayukta.Terming the allegations levelled against him as baseless, the Upa Lokayukta said the petition was filed based on newspaper reports, private communications and that the court should not allow its process to be abused.
“The court should not allow its process to be abused for oblique consideration by masked phantoms, who may at times monitor the petition from behind,” he stated in his objections. He further stated that the contention of the petitioner does not depict the prima facie correctness of the information submitted by him.
He said that the petitioner had made reckless allegations amounting to besmirching the character of others and that it amounted to public mischief.
Stating that the petitioner has made heedless allegations against him, Chandrashekaraiah pointed out that he has not even produced the appointment notification to the court.
Mentioning the letter written by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on February 4, 2012, stating that he was not consulted in the appointment of the Upa Lokayukta, Justice Chandrashekaraiah said that the Chief Minster is not bound by the advice of any of the  consultees nor does the statute provide supremacy to the opinion or suggestions of any one of the consultees.  

“The law governing primacy of opinion that evolved with regard to judicial appointments cannot be applied to the appointment of a Upa Lokayukta, who is an investigating and inquiring authority under the provisions of the Act. The consultation process contemplated under Section 3(2)(b) of the Lokayukta Act, the opinion of the Chief Justice is not binding upon the Chief Minister.”
Referring to the letter by former High Court judge Justice M F Saldanha to the Governor, he termed that the allegations made in the letter are baseless. 
On the allegations regarding allocation of site to him in the Judicial Layout in Yelahanka, he said that it did not suffer from any legal infirmities and that it was not contrary to the bye-laws of the Karnataka State Judicial Department Employees’ House Building Co-operative Society Limited.
Highlighting that his name was recommended to the post of Upa Lokayukta twice earlier by former Chief Justices, he sought to dismiss the petition as motivated and also impose exemplary costs. 
However, the government in its submission said that the Chief Minister had started the process of appointment, by writing letters to the constitutional functionaries and in return the Chief Justice had suggested the name of Justice H Rangavittalachar. 
The State further said that the opposition leader in the Assembly had recommended the names of Justice Mohammed Anwar, retired Judge of the Karnataka HC and Justice Ramana, Chairman, Karnataka State Consumer Redressal Commission.
“In the matter of appointment of Upa Lokayukta, consultation has to be made with various constitutional functionaries. It is a procedural requirement and none among them have any primacy in the matter. Ultimately, while tendering advice to the Governor for making appointment, the Chief Minister has primacy,” the State has said.
During the hearing the Division Bench comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice Ravi Malimath adjourned the matter after Advocate General Vijay Shankar and Senior Counsel Udaya Holla sought time. 

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