Move to recommend Justice Manjunath as Upalokayukta flayed

The State government’s decision to recommend Justice (retired) K L Manjunath for the post of Upalokayukta for the second time has come under criticism from S R Hiremath of the National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources, a non-governmental organisation.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Hiremath demanded that the recommendation be withdrawn as Justice Manjunath not only faced allegations of “impropriety” but his impeachment was sought too.

Justice Manjunath’s appointment to the post of Upalokayukta will dent the credibility of the Lokayukta institution which is already in crisis, he added.

‘Illegal site allotment’
He claimed that the Vyalikaval House Building Co-operative Society and the Shri Shakti Promoters and Developers had illegally allotted a site  at Nagavara village in Bengaluru South taluk in 2004 to Justice Manjunath’s dependent daughter for a pittance.

Hiremath suggested that Justice Manjunath had quashed an order of the Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) to revoke the sanction granted to a layout plan submitted by the Society “without taking note of the serious charges” against it that were upheld by Supreme Court and the High Court.

If the government didn’t budge, Hiremath went on, he would submit documents on Justice Manjunath’s “acts of impropriety” to the governor, the chief minister and leaders of Opposition in Legislative Assembly and Council. He also warned of initiating legal
action.

‘Invite public suggestions’
Hiremath said that public suggestions should be invited before any person is appointed to such an esteemed post, and a three-member committee of judges should look into the selection process.

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