Lokayukta moves HC over plan to move privilege motion against registrar

Institution says it's bound to submit audit report to Guv, not to Assembly panel directly

Lokayukta moves HC over plan to move privilege motion against registrar

The Lokayukta has moved the high court, challenging the proposal to move a privilege motion against the registrar of the institution.

The proposal to move the motion was placed by the Assembly Committee on Papers Laid on the Table before the Speaker, for not submitting the audit report of the institution.

The Lokayukta institution had sent a communication to the committee stating that under the Lokayukta Act, the institution was to submit the audit report only to the governor.

The writ petition was filed by the Lokayukta and the registrar. It is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday. The committee headed by MLA S R Mahesh had asked the Lokayukta institution to submit the annual performance report,   including the audit report.

The committee had asked for the annual performance report of the institution over the last six years. The Lokayukta replied that it gets consolidated fund and the audit report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General is sent to the governor every year.

"Section 12 (6) of the Lokayukta Act says the Lokayukta shall present annually a consolidated report on the performance to the governor. The governor, on receipt of such report, shall send a copy with an explanatory memorandum to be laid before each House of the state legislature. The same was brought to the notice of the committee,'' a senior official of the Lokayukta said.

However, the committee sent a notice again, asking the registrar to appear before it in person. When the registrar did not make a personal appearance, the committee sent a proposal to the speaker, seeking to move a privilege motion against the registrar.

Sources said that on receiving this communication from the committee, the speaker forwarded the proposal to the privileges committee. The office of the Lokayukta received a communication from Assembly secretary S Murthy on December 26, 2017, that the speaker has referred the matter to the privileges committee.

A senior official said the writ petition has been filed challenging both the proposal and the subsequent communication from the speaker's office to the privileges committee.

"The Lokayukta registrar is an in-service judicial officer (district and sessions judge). When the Lokayukta Act explicitly says that the report shall be submitted to the governor, how can the same be submitted directly to any other authority,'' the officer asked.

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