Bengaluru, Jan 26: The Karnataka chief minister's office on Thursday confirmed that Justice Vishwanath Shetty will be appointed as the new Lokayukta of Karnataka. Shetty's name was cleared by the governor, Vajubhai Vala, after the state government sent the recommendation for the second time with clarifications sought by the governor's office.
The anti-corruption watchdog of the state had been headless since the disgraceful exit of Justice Bhaskar Rao who now faces charges of nepotism and misuse of office. Shetty's name was sent to the governor's approval after a high-level committee including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Chief justice of Karnataka high court S K Mukherjee, assembly speaker K B Koliwad, legislative council chairman D H Shankaramurthy, leaders of the opposition in the two houses of the legislature, Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa.
The names of Justice Vishwanath Shetty, Justice NK Patil and Justice Anandbyra Reddy were discussed for the post and the chief justice of Karnataka high court conveyed his consent for all the three names.
While the Lokayukta's investigative powers have been taken away, close to 2,600 cases of graft against prominent politicians continues to be under the Lokayukta. Activists such as S R Hiremat opposed Justice Shetty's appointment accusing him of being involved in the judicial layout scam. Despite opposition, Shetty is all set to take over the reins of Lokayukta in Karnataka.