Ex-CJ withdraws consent to be next Karnataka Lokayukta

Ex-CJ withdraws consent to be next Karnataka Lokayukta

The State government may have to start fresh consultation to choose the new Lokayukta as Justice Vikramjit Sen, a former Supreme Court judge considered for the post, has withdrawn his consent to be the anti-graft ombudsmamn.

Speaking to Deccan Herald from New Delhi on Friday, Justice Sen confirmed that he has withdrawn his consent.

“Yes, I have withdrawn my consent. I have written to Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court and Law Minister T B Jayachandra,” he said.

However, he refused to divulge the content of the letter saying, “My letter contains the reason for withdrawing the consent.”

Justice Sen has withdrwan his consent apparently in view of the state government’s inclination to forward to the Governor the name of Justice S R Nayak for the post.

On January 4, 2016, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held a consultation meeting as a statutory requirement on choosing the Lokayukta. The meeting was attended by acting Chief Justice of the High Court Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa, Chairman of the Legislative Council D H Shankaramurthy, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar and his counterpart in the Council K S Eshwarappa.

Sources said that as the meeting began, Justice Mukherjee proposed the name of Justice Sen stating that he would be the perfect choice to bring back the glory of the Lokayukta institution, which was marred with recent incidents of corruption and extortion.

Shankaramurthy, Shettar and Eshwarappa supported Justice Mukherjee’s proposal. Kagodu Thimmappa, however, proposed the name of Justice Nayak, while Siddaramaiah did not propose any name.

After the meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra contacted Justice Sen and sought his consent. However, the delay in forwarding his name to the Governor and subsequent inclination of Siddaramaiah towards Justice S R Nayak is said to have irked Justice Sen.

Speaking to Deccan Herald on Friday, Shettar said the government has insulted Justice Sen.

“The state government has insulted Justice Sen by not considering his name after taking his consent. The chief minister has been insensitive throughout the process.

When Justice N Ananda’s name was proposed for Upalokayukta, we all supported it as there was no adverse report. Though technically, the government can go ahead with Justice Nayak’s name, as has been planned, in the interest of full and effective consultation process, a fresh meeting has to be called,” Shettar said.

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