Lokayukta complaint against CM over appointment of KSPCB chief

Lokayukta complaint against CM over appointment of KSPCB chief

Incumbent has no required qualifications, says complainant

Lokayukta complaint against CM over appointment of KSPCB chief

A complaint has been filed with the Lokayukta against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over the appointment of real estate  businessman Lakshmana as the chairperson of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

T Narasimha Murthy, the complainant, said that the appointment was in violation of the provisions under The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and that it was the chief minister who chose Lakshmana, though it was not recommended by the search committee.

The complaint said that Lakshmana is a civil engineer and has no past experience relating to environment protection.

The process to choose the chairperson for the  KSPCB started in August 2015 when Madan Gopal, the then Additional Chief Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment Department, recommended the constitution of the search committee headed by the then Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee.

Other members of the committee constituted were Prof Ravindranath of IISc and Capt Raja Rao, former member of  KSPCB and Madan Gopal (member-secretary). The committee shortlisted five names among those who applied for the post. The names were Prof E T Puttaiah, G T Chandrashekharappa, Dr J R Mudkavi, Dr B S Jai Prakash and Prof B B Hosetti.

“As per the documents, the list finalised by the search committee did not have the name of Lakshmana till December 12, 2015. However, on December 10, Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Ramanath Rai inserted the name of Lakshmana stating “done as per the discussion with the chief minister,” the complainant said.

Less than 10 days after inserting Lakshmana's name, the chief minister passed an order recommending the appointment.

Required qualifications

The qualifications and experience prescribed for the post are: Masters degree in science or equivalent B Tech in discipline relating to environment, 10 years experience in government departments, institutions, central public sector undertakings, universities, recognised research institutions, autonomous or semi-government or statutory organisations or NGOs at managerial levels, with practical experience in matters relating to environmental protection.

The complaint said that Lakshmana is a civil engineer with no experience in environmental protection.

Narasimha Murthy submitted the complaint to Upalokayukta Justice N Ananda. The complaint has been filed against Siddaramaiah, Minister Ramanath Rai, Chief Secretary Aravind Jadhav, Madan Gopal and Lakshmana.

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