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Former Karnataka Lokayukta N Venkatachala passes away at 90

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Bengaluru, Oct 30: Former Karnataka Lokayukta and former Supreme Court Judge, N Venkatachala, passed away on Wednesday. He was 90 and survived by a son, who is a senior Advocate.

Former Lokayukta N Venkatachala passes away at 90

Justice Venkatachala, (retired) who had appointed as the Karnataka Lokayukta in 2001 had instilled fear among the Karnataka Administration, for his tirade against the Corruption.

Born on 3 July 1930, in Mittur village of Mulabagal taluk in Kolar district, Justice Venkatachala completed his schooling from Mulbagal and Kolara he moved to Bengaluru to pursue his college education. He obtained Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law degrees from Mysore University.

Venkatachala enrolled as an Advocate in the then High Court of Mysore on 16 November 1955. He served as a part-time reader in Mercantile Law from 1958 to 1970 and a legal adviser to the University of Agricultural Sciences, Hebbal from 1963 to 1973 and Bangalore University from 1970 to 1973. He was elected as high Court government pleader in 1968 and continued in that position till 1973 and when he was promoted to high court government advocate which he served till 1977.

He was appointed as additional judge for Karnataka High Court on 28 November 1977 and a permanent judge on 8 September 1978. Venkatachala functioned as a tribunal for prevention of unlawful activities under the unlawful activities prevention act during the year 1990. He was appointed as the acting Chief Justice for Karnataka High Court in May, 1992. On 1 July 1992 he was sworn in as Judge of the Supreme Court of India which he remained until Jul2 2, 1995.

Venkatachala is best known for rejuvenating the department of Karnataka Lokayukta, the anti corruption agency. He was sworn in as the Lokayukta on 2 July 2001.

He is said to have put the fear of god in the Karnataka administration. Number of complaints the office of Lokayukta was receiving dramatically increased from 20-25 per day to 200-250 per day while Venkatachala was in tenure. He personally led hundreds of raids often lashing out at corruption in political life.

In his four and a half years in office, he had looked into more than 50,000 cases of misconduct and complaints from members of the public. He even drew lot of criticism often from politicians who accused him of tarnishing all politicians with the same brush.

Venkatachala was discontinued as Lokayukta for the second term because of legal hurdles although a huge campaign was done in favor of him. Owing to his popularity he was featured in a Kannada film Lancha Samrajya as an officer fighting the corruption.

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