HC stays Upalokayukta directions on withholding official's pension

The Karnataka High Court on Monday granted stay on the Upalokayukta’s recommendation and directions to impose penalty of permanently withholding 10% of pension payable to a petitioner.

The petitioner, H P Nagaraj, who was working as tahsildar in 2007 in Davangere, had issued cultivation slips to certain farmers and had later withdrawn them.

A private complaint was registered against him with the Lokayukta. The Upalokayukta had issued certain recommendations to the state government following an enquiry into the complaint. The Upalokayukta had recommended to the government to impose a penalty of permanently withholding 10% pension payable to petitioner.

The petitioner questioned the recommendation of the Upalokayukta overlooking Rule 14A(d) of the Karnataka Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1957, which is the procedure to be followed by the Lokayukta and the Upalokayukta.

The petitioner has said that the word “recommendation” suffers from unreasonableness  and vagueness and hence must be quashed. A division bench comprising Justice B S Patil and Justice B V Nagarathna granted stay on the proceedings and ordered emergent notice to the Karnataka Lokayukta and the state government.

Relief for assault victims
The High Court on Monday ordered notice to the state government, Karnataka State Commission for Women and others in a PIL seeking directions to set up standard procedures for disbursing compensation to victims of sexual assault.

People’s Movement Against Sexual Assault (PMAS) has filed a PIL seeking directions to the state government to dispense speedy justice and ensure efficient medical care to victims. The petitioner has sought guidelines to be framed in handling cases of sexual assault and to give assistance to the victim. Instead of state and central governments giving compensation differently for different cases, PMAS has sought a holistic approach in handling cases of sexual assault. A division bench comprising Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice R B Budihal ordered notice and adjourned the hearing after summer vacations.

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