Justice Ananda appointed Upalokayukta

Institution was headless for two weeks

Justice Ananda appointed Upalokayukta

Governor Vajubhai Vala on Monday appointed former High Court judge Justice N Ananda as the Upalokayukta, a post vacant since Justice S B Majage demitted office on July 17 following the completion of his tenure.

With this, state’s anti-corruption ombudsman, which was headless since the past two weeks, has got an authority to oversee administration and pending complaints from across the state.

Justice Ananda (62) will have a full five-year term. The governor who had thrice rejected Justice K L Manjunath’s name for the post, gave his nod for Justice Ananda’s appointment.

The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) will issue a notification to this effect on Tuesday.

Justice Ananda’s name was recommended recently by a committee headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and comprised presiding officers and leaders of the opposition of the two Houses of Legislature and acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka S K Mukherjee.

The institution of Lokayukta had been passing through testing time since June this year after a corruption and extortion racket operating within the institution came to light.

The then Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao went on leave from July 27, the day his son Y Ashwin was arrested on charges of extortion using both the office of the Lokayukta and official residence. After keeping away from work for over four months, Justice Rao finally stepped down on December 7, after the motion to remove him as Lokayukta was admitted in the Assembly. The BJP and the JD (S) had moved this petition.

However, the move to remove Justice Rao soon turned into a political blame game as Congress legislators filed another petition seeking to remove Upalokayukta (II) Justice Subhash B Adi.

With the Speaker admitting this motion, Justice Adi was precluded from discharging his duties from December 1. A senior official from the Lokayukta said that the jurisdiction of Justice Ananda will be decided only after he assumes office.

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