Opposition to Upalokayukta's ouster grows

Opposition to Upalokayukta's ouster grows

Sr counsels ask Speaker not to start proceedings

Opposition to Upalokayukta's ouster grows

 The Congress’s petition to the Speaker seeking removal of Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi has met with opposition not only from a section of its own legislators but also from several senior counsels of the Karnataka High Court and various civic groups.

On Thursday, 13 senior counsels, including former advocate generals B V Acharya and Uday Holla, dashed off a letter to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa urging him to desist from initiating proceedings or passing a resolution for Justice Adi’s removal.

The letter states, according to the provisions of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984, Justice Adi would be entitled to discharge the functions of the Lokayukta as the Assembly has initiated proceedings to remove Justice Y Bhaskar Rao as the anti-graft ombudsman.

“The attempt for initiating resolution in the House seems to be timed so as to prevent Justice Adi from discharging the functions and exercising powers of the Lokayukta. This case cannot be compared to that of Justice Rao as criminal proceedings have been initiated against his son and others for corruption,” the letter stated.

They said Justice Adi had an unblemished record and was one of the best judges of the Karnataka High Court.

“Justice Adi has held the office with dignity and has conducted himself in an impeccable manner. It is unfortunate that baseless allegations are being leveled against him,” the letter, also signed by  Jayakumar S Patil, K Kasturi, H Subramanya Jois, K Subba Rao, D N Nanjunda Reddy, Sajan Poovayya, R L Patil, M Shivappa, D L N Rao, C K Jhadhav, C V Nagesh and B M Shyam Prasad, further stated.

Some Congress legislators, especially from North Karnataka, expressed their reservations on the move to remove Justice Adi.

At the Congress legislature party meeting here on Thursday, the lawmakers reportedly said that there were no concrete charges against Justice Adi and the move to initiate proceedings for his removal has shown the party in poor light.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, defended the move, stating that there is documentary evidence against Justice Adi.