HC stays appointment of IAS officer as Lokayukta registrar

HC stays appointment of IAS officer as Lokayukta registrar

The High Court on Tuesday stayed the appointment of IAS officer P C Jaffer as the registrar of the Karnataka Lokayukta. 

While hearing a petition by advocate Anand Murthy, challenging the appointment, a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna granted interim stay and ordered notice to the State government, Jaffer and the registrar, High Court of Karnataka.

The bench passed the order stating that Karnataka Lokayukta (Cadre, Recruitment and Conditions of Service of the Officers and Employees) Rules, 1988, qualify for the appointment of registrar by deputation of an officer in the cadre of district and sessions judge of the Karnataka Judicial Service or of an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (or by posting of an Additional Registrar).
Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna submitted that a notification issued on January 22, 2014, by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions, department of Personnel and Training reserves the post of registrar of the Lokayukta for a member of IAS.

The bench said it appears that the Centre, in consultation with the State government, issued the notification. At the point when the notification was issued, a member of the cadre of the district and sessions judge was holding the post of the Registrar. There has been no consultation with the High Court. The additional registrar of the Lokayukta, belonging to the cadre of the district and sessions judge of the Karnataka Judicial Services, cannot work under an IAS officer.

The bench, in the order, said, “We are of the prima facie opinion that the judicial officers are ousted being appointed to this post of the Registrar in the Lokayukta office.”

The bench, in the order, said that if the appointment of Jaffer is not stayed, the situation will become irreversible. Hence, a stay was granted on the appointment of the registrar till the pendency of the writ petition.The petitioner has sought directions from the court to quash the registrar’s appointment stating that it is illegal, unconstitutional and non-est in law.

The petitioner’s counsel Arun Shyam, in the amended prayer, sought to declare II Schedule of the Karnataka Lokayukta (Cadre, Recruitment and Conditions of Service of the Officers and Employees) Rules, 1988, which provide for deputation of IAS as Registrar, Lokayukta under Lokayukta Act as arbitrary, illegal, unconstitutional and against the aims, objectives, scope of the Lokayukta Act and consequently, strike down or read down the relevant portion of the said rules.

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