Guv returns KPSC appointments file

Cites rules, apex court verdict to question govt recommendation

Guv returns KPSC appointments file

Governor Vajubhai Vala has returned to the State government a file on the appointment of chairman and members to the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC), advising reconsideration of proposed names.

The action is seen as a jolt to the Siddaramaiah government.

In a six-page letter, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald, the governor has asked the State to provide vigilance clearance reports from the respective departments on all the proposed names after vetting by the Karnataka Lokayukta.

Vala has contested the names by referring to the apex court’s 2011 verdict that cancelled the appointment of the head of Punjab Public Service Commission, the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) report and advice by the then governor of Karnataka in 2007 on KPSC appointments.

The government had recommended the name of former Legislative Council chairman V R Sudarshan for the KPSC chairman’s post. Dr H Ravikumar, medical adviser to the chief minister; Dr Nahabai B Bulla; Raghunandan Ramanna, who had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly elections; Michael Simon Baretto; IPS officer Syed Ulfat Hussain; K S Mruthyunjaya and Prof H Govindaiah were recommended as members.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has been opposing the names, arguing that Sudarshan and Raghunandan Ramanna were active politicians, while Govindaiah, Ravikumar and Hussain face various charges. Social activist T J Abraham has also petitioned to the governor against the names and threatened to move the apex court.

Vala, in his letter, mentioned the apex court’s observation that appointing persons to constitutional positions only on the basis of political or party affiliations and without administrative experience does not go well for the state’s apex recruiting agency. He quoted the ARC report that stipulated eligibility criteria for appointing official and non-official members.

“A member selected from among government officers should have held office under a State government or the Union government for at least 10 years and should have occupied the position of a head of department or secretary to government in a State or a comparable position in an institution of higher education. Member selected from non-official category should have practised at least for 10 years in any of the recognised professions like teaching, law, medicine, engineering, science, accountancy or administration,” the letter stated.

It also refers to the advice by the governor in 2007 to submit a report of vigilance clearance for the names. “In future, it will be proper if vigilance clearance is vetted by the Lokayukta, too,” said the letter.

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