I cannot appoint Lokayukta: Karnataka Governor

H R Bhardwaj
Bangalore, Jan 17: Amid the controversy over the issue of appointment of Lokayukta by the Governor in Gujarat, Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj said he cannot name the new anti-corruption ombudsman in the state without the government's approval.

"I cannot appoint a Lokayukta. I don't think any High Court can appoint Lokayukta. The (Karnataka Lokayukta) Act is very clear. Without the approval of the Government, it cannot be done. I don't subscribe to that view. It involves multiple consultation process", he told reporters here.

Bhardwaj, who was responding to a question on the Gujarat High Court majority verdict upholding the appointment of R A Mehta as Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal, said "Why do you bring in Gujarat here. I have requested the Chief Minister (D V Sadananda Gowda) to send a proposal to me." Under the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, the state government has to consult leaders of opposition and Presiding officers in both the houses legislatures and advise the Governor on the appointment of a Lokayukta.

Karnataka is also witnessing a standoff between the BJP Government and the Governor on the appointment of Lokayukta, leaving the post vacant for the last four months. The Government has recommended the name of former Kerala High Court chief justice S R Bannurmath as Lokayukta, but it has been rejected by Bhardwaj, who is insisting on a 'spotless' person for the post.


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