Bangalore Feb 14:After several months of speculation surrounding the appointment of Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, on Thursday, took over. The former chief justice of the Karnataka High Court was sworn in on Thursday by Governor HR Bharadwaj.
After the completion of the term of Justice Santosh Hegde in August 2011, there has been no stable head. Although Shivaraj Patil was appointed as Lokayukta, he had a short stint and had to resign owing to 'possession of an illegal government site.'
Even Rao's appointment has been embroiled in controversy with the Advocates Association of Bangalore (AAB) opposing the appointment. Allegations by the AAB against Rao include irregularities during his term as chief justice between March 1999 and June 2000 and not knowing Kannada.
The post had been vacant for the last 16 months which has resulted in the piling up of several cases. Media reports suggest that in the Lokayukta, over '25,000 cases which are at different stages of disposal and 4,500 cases which have been registered last year are still pending.'
With no signs of appointment of the Lokayukta The Karnataka High Court recently stated that 'there is a failure of constitutional framework in the State.'
However, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar who had assured that the appointment would take place soon, went ahead even amidst opposition.