Amended Lokayukta Bill receives Governor's assent

Amended Lokayukta Bill receives Governor's assent

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has given assent to an amended Lokayukta Bill simplifying procedures for removal of the anti-graft ombudsman with the present incumbent facing pressure to quit over alleged involvement of his son in an extortion racket in the institution.

"Governor Vajubhai Vala has given assent to the Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which was passed by the legislature in its last session recently," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters.

The bill was brought amidst a growing clamour that Lokayukta Bhaskar Rao quit in the wake of the alleged scam in connection with which his son Ashwin Rao was arrested recently.

The amendment to the Act enables the legislature to pass a motion for the Lokayukta's removal with two-thirds majority if the ombudsman is found guilty of misconduct or incapacity by the Karnataka High Court chief justice or a nominated judge, Jayachandra said.

The alleged racket came to light after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote to Lokayukta Registrar about the complaint she received from an Executive Engineer, who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs one crore in bribe to avoid a raid.

Opposition and various organisations are keeping up pressure for the resignation of Rao, who has remained unfazed by the allegations saying he would quit only if charges against his son were proved.

He also said there was also provision like the legislature can take up Lokayukta's ouster even if one-third of the elected and nominated lawmakers demand it.

Jayachandra said Governor also has given assent to the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2015, to increase the income limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 25 lakh for purchasing farmland.

Vala has given his nod to the Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which aims to enhance the limit of regularisation of unauthorised construction of dwelling house in government land in rural areas. 

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