Government did not follow procedure: Jagadish Shettar

The post of Lokayukta has been lying vacant since December 8 last year, after Justice Y. Bhasker Rao resigned.

Bengaluru: Did the State government make a mistake by not recording the proceedings of the first meeting held recently to shortlist names for the post of Lokayukta?

Yes, say sources. It is mandatory that every point raised at the meeting convened to discuss probables for the anti-corruption institution, should be recorded. While the Chief Minister heads the committee to select the Lokayukta, the Chief Justice of the High Court, leaders of opposition in both Houses, presiding officers of the Assembly and Council and Law and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister are members of the panel.

The post of Lokayukta has been lying vacant since December 8 last year, after Justice Y. Bhasker Rao resigned on charges of misuse of the office of Lokayukta by his son. Both Houses of the Legislature had moved a motion seeking removal of Justice Rao. Since then, the government has been scouting for a suitable candidate to head the Lokayukta.

At a meeting called to discuss the probables last week, CM Siddaramaiah favoured former head of the State Human Rights Commission Justice S.R. Nayak while the BJP wanted former chief justice Vikramjit Sen. Four members of the committee favoured Justice Sen and two backed Justice Nayak. Ultimately the meeting left it to the CM to take a suitable decision and told him to keep the members informed before sending a proposal to the governor. However, the government reportedly erred by not recording proceedings which is mandatory before forwarding it to the governor. In fact, the governor had rejected the name of Justice Manjunath on the grounds that the government did not follow procedure. This may happen again.

Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly and former CM, Jagadish Shettar said that the government had not followed procedure in the first meeting. When the majority of members had divergent opinions about Justice Nayak’s candidature, the CM should have explained the reasons for backing him. Most importantly, everything should have been recorded by officials concerned as it was an important document which will be verified by the governor before giving his assent. Unfortunately, the CM did not seek the opinion of other members but simply ended the meeting without arriving at a consensus. The CM has every right to accept or reject the candidates proposed by opposition but everything must be recorded, he said.

Siddaramaiah again created confusion by announcing that another meeting will be held on January 25 to discuss the appointment of the Lokayukta in view of the charges made against Justice Nayak, said sources. However, information was not given to any members that resulted in cancellation. Even, Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said he was not aware of any such meeting.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story