New Delhi, July 3: Should Justice Bhaskar Rao continue as the Lokayukta of Karnataka or not. The opposition is stepping up the pressure on the government to remove him as the Lokayukta and even submitted a signed petition to the chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council to this effect.
Legal experts tell OneIndia that there is a procedure involved which goes into the removing of a Lokayukta.
The petition that was submitted yesterday had the signatures of 33 MLCs and this is sufficient for action to be taken, legal experts state.
The procedure to remove a Lokayukta:
The rules mandate that a petition seeking the removal of a Lokayukta or a Upa-Lokayukta would require a petition which has either 50 signatures of MLAs or 25 signatures of MLCs. In this case, the chairman of the legislative council has received a petition with 33 MLC signatures which is good enough for him to initiate action.
However the opposition would wait until they get more signatures and also submit a petition to the speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly. The opposition is confident that it could get at least 60 signatures from MLAs and this in turn would make their case for removal even more stronger. The opposition wants to set in motion the process of removal of a Lokayukta in both houses.
Section 6 of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act deals with removal:
Section 6 of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act allows for removing a Lokayukta or a Upa-Lokayukta. It needs to be stated in the petition that the Lokayukta or the Upa-Lokayukta is incapable or there has been proven misbehaviour.
Once the Speaker accepts such a petition, he will set up a three member committee which would comprise a Supreme Court and High Court judge apart from jurist. Once the committee probes into the allegations, the recommendations would be made.
If it is proven that there the allegations are wrong, then the matter is brought to a close. However if the allegations are proven then the matter is put to vote.
The voting process will be conducted in both houses of the assembly and if there is a two thirds majority then the same will be sent to the governor. The governor would then take a final call on the matter and recommend the removal of the Lokayukta or the Upalokayukta.
The next move by the opposition:
The opposition says that the corruption allegations against the Lokayukta needs to be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Lokayukta is a very powerful body and probes by the government appointed Special Investigating Team would not be able to do the job.
In the days to come the opposition plans on conducting a series of agitations to ensure that a CBI is probe is ordered. More importantly they would attempt to ensure that the Lokayukta Justice Rao steps down on moral ground himself.
However both the government and the Lokayukta are in no mood to relent as of now as they feel that the outcome of the SIT report should be awaited and only after the findings are given will action be initiated.