HC warns govt on delay in appointing Lokayukta

HC warns govt on delay in appointing Lokayukta

The Karnataka High Court on Monday warned the State government that it would write to the governor stating that there had been a constitutional crisis in the State if the delay in appointment of the Lokayukta continued.

“There has been no appointment of Lokayukta for the past one year. If this continues, the government will be in trouble. We will write to the governor stating that there is a constitutional crisis in the State,” the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen warned, while hearing a petition seeking the appointment of Lokayukta.

H S Nilakantappa, a resident of Tarikere, has approached the court over the delay in the appointment of the ombudsman.

Questioning the State government over its inaction, the Bench directed the government to furnish the information pertaining to appointment of the Lokayukta. The court issued the notice returnable within a week to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who assumed office only last week.

The court also expressed its displeasure over a statement made by Law Minister Suresh Kumar that the State was awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue. When government counsel mentioned about a special leave petition pending before the Supreme Court, the Bench brushed it aside saying that the petition pertained to the appointment of upa lokayukta and not of lokayukta. The court adjourned the matter to July 23.

The petitioner, who has also arrayed the chief minister as a party in his petition, had alleged that the government had kept the post of the Lokayukta vacant deliberately. The post has remained vacant since September 19.

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