Speaker 'overstepping' his power on Justice Adi's removal, say activists

Speaker 'overstepping' his power on Justice Adi's removal, say activists

 The decision of Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa on the motion to remove Justice Subhash B Adi as Upalokayukta are in violation of the amended Lokayukta Act, members of Janaadhikaara Sangharsha Parishath (JSP), a social organisation, said on Thursday.

They said they would shortly file a public interest litigation as the Speaker was still looking for evidence against Justice Adi 20 days after admitting the motion.

“As per Section 3 of the amended Lokayukta Act, the Speaker has to satisfy himself as to the prima facie case regarding incapacity or misbehaviour (of the Lokayukta or the Upalokayukta) and in the process consult such persons, or as he thinks fit and, after considering such materials, may admit or refuse to admit the same. However, once admitted, the Act stipulates the Speaker shall refer the matter to the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court,” Adarsh R Iyer of JSP said.

“The motion was admitted within a few days of the Congress MLAs submitting the petition (against Justice Adi) on November 27. However, even on December 4, the Speaker had told the media that he was still looking for evidence against Justice Adi. The Speaker is still looking for documents, which is nothing but overstretching his limits of power as Speaker as per the amended Lokayukta Act,” he added.

The members of JSP said the Speaker was also allowing the Congress spokesperson to level baseless allegations against Justice Adi.

“Congress spokesperson V S Ugrappa should submit documents or evidence against Justice Adi to the Speaker. Being a lawyer, Ugrappa is misleading the people of the State by providing false information. How does a wrong judgement become ground for misbehaviour. It is now apparent that the petition signed by 78 Congress MLAs did not have any charges against Justice Adi.

“While the amended Act clearly states that the Speaker shall refer the matter to the Chief Justice for investigation, it looks like the Speaker himself is probing the case. Since there is no other option, the Speaker should immediately refer the matter to the Chief Justice. If this does not happen, we will have to file a public interest litigation. On one side, the Speaker has admitted the motion in violation of the Act and, on the other, his wrong decision is affecting the people,” Prakash Babu of JSP said.

The Congress legislators had filed a petition with the Speaker on November 24 seeking to move a motion to remove Justice Adi as Upalokayukta.

The Speaker admitted the motion on November 27 and started calling for documents from the Lokayukta office and other sources.

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