After long wait, Karnataka gets Lokayukta

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Y Bhaskar Rao
Bangalore, Jan 31: Karnataka may finally get a new Lokayukta. The state cabinet today cleared the name of Justice (retd) Y Bhaskar Rao.

Justice Rao (74), a close relative of former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, retired as chief justice of Karnataka High Court in Jun 2000. Since Sep 2011 when Justice Shivraj Patil resigned, the state was without a Lokayukta. Katnataka was the first state in the country to establish the office of Lokayukta to fight corruption.

However, his nomination has come in criticism by the Advocates Association of Bangalore. The Association president said that Justice Rao was old and he did not know the local language Kannada. Another charge was that he was also recipient of BDA site, which has been a contentious issue with previous appointments. One more lacune cited by the advocates is about Karnataka High Court currently being officiated by an acting chief justice and the government should have waited till a regular CJ is in place.

As per Lokayukta Act, Justice Rao's name was approved by the committee comprising Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, acting CJ of high court K Shridhar Rao, Speaker KG Bopaiah, council chairman DH Shankarmurty, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Siddaramaiah and Council Opposition leader SR Patil.

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