Name Hegde as Lokayukta again, will sign in 1 min: Guv to Govt

HR Bhardwaj
Bangalore, Nov 23: Sticking to his guns over naming the new Lokayukta in Karnataka, Governor H R Bhardwaj today (Nov 23) insisted he would not appoint a "wrong person" and asked the BJP government to look for a figure who is above board.

Bhardwaj, who has rejected former Kerala Chief Justice S R Bannurmath's name, said he needs to make the appointment after a lot of consideration as Lokayukta is a "very important institution", relating to probity and anti-corruption.

"I have explained to the Government through a detailed letter and I hope it gets into the head of the Government. But I am not that (kind of) person who will appoint a wrong person", the Governor told reporters.

Bhardwaj, often at loggerheads with BJP government, said "Let them appoint Justice (Santosh) Hegde again. I will sign in a minute. Let them appoint any judge who is above board." The Governor recently wrote to the government suggesting a "rethink" in view of charges against Bannurmath and to select someone else.

Bannurmath is facing charges of securing land allotment in a judicial layout violating rules. The government has stuck to its choice so far and repeatedly said Bannurmath's name was finalised as per procedure and precedents, and hinted that it's firm on its choice, leading to some kind of a stand-off with Raj Bhavan.

Lokayukta post has been lying vacant for two months after retired Supreme Court Judge V Shivaraj Patil resigned abruptly in September six weeks into office after allegations of land allotment by a housing cooperative society in violation of laws surfaced against him. Patil had taken over in early August from Hegde, who completed his five-year term.


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