Removing Lokayukta: State govt gazettes amendment bill

Removing Lokayukta: State govt gazettes amendment bill

Removing Lokayukta: State govt gazettes amendment bill

The State government took its first step towards removing the by gazetting an amendment legislation in this regard.

The government has gazetted the Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill-2015 after Governor Vajubhai Vala gave his assent recently.

Both Houses of the State Legislature had passed the amendment bill that simplifies the procedure and fixes a time-frame for removing the Lokayukta.

Both Houses had decided to bring amendments to the Karnataka (Amendment) Bill-1984 with the intention of removing Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao following complaints of extortion in the office of the ombudsman.

With the amendment bill becoming law, one-third of the MLAs or MLCs can submit a motion to remove the Lokayukta to the Speaker, in case of the Legislative Assembly, or the Chairman, in case of the Legislative Council.

The presiding officers can then refer the matter to the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court for conducting an investigation into the grounds on which the removal of the Lokayukta is sought by the legislators.

The Chief Justice or a judge nominated by him will have to prepare a report and submit it to the presiding officers within three months.

If the report of the Chief Justice or the judge nominated finds the Lokayukta guilty of misconduct or incapacity, then both Houses can pass a motion with a two-thirds majority that the anti-corruption watchdog should be removed. The motion will have to be sent to the governor. Once the governor gives his assent to the motion, then the Lokayukta shall be deemed to have been removed as per law.

Deadline extended
Earlier in the day, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said the governor had also given his assent to the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2015, and the Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2015, which allows for regularisation of unauthorised construction of dwellings in rural areas under Section 94C. The government has extended the deadline for submission of applications for regularisation up to December 1.