HC: Rajyotsava award selection has become a 'tender process'

HC: Rajyotsava award selection has become a 'tender process'

Selecting the recipients of Rajyotsava awards has become like a “tender process” with lobbying “very much existing” in choosing the awardees, the High Court of Karnataka observed on Friday.

Justice S Abdul Nazeer disposed of a petition by B V Satyanarayana Rao, an award aspirant, hoping his application would be considered for the award in 2015. Rao had moved the court after the government didn’t consider his application for the Rajyotsava award in 2014.

Although a mechanical engineer by profession, he has written at least 66 books in Kannada and Sanskrit, thus contributing to the field of literature, he argued. The government counsel claimed that no lobbying was allowed in the selection of awardees and Rao’s application would be considered on merit. The bench disposed of the petition.

Notice to CM
The High Court of Karnataka on Friday ordered issue of notices to Chief Minster Siddaramaiah, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and the Superintendent of Police, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on an Interlocutory Application that has sought to implead them in a petition alleging favouritism in the appointment of president and members to the Kanakapura Planning Authority.

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy gave the order while hearing a petition by RTI activist Ravi Kumar who has challenged the appointments to the said Authority, claiming those were based on recommendation, not merit.

The petitioner contended that M D Vijaydev was appointed president, and K Puttamade Gowda and Joseph Gonsalves members of the Authority on a recommendation letter written by Shivakumar on his letterhead to the chief minister. Based on that letter, the chief minister issued the appointment letter on February 14, 2014.

The petitioner further argued that the manner in which the files had moved within three days for the appointments indicated elements of criminal misconduct by the energy minister and the chief minister, which was punishable under section 13(1)(d)(ii)(iii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.  

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