Lokayukta row in Karnataka: Follow judges inquiry act, law department says

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Bengaluru, July 7: Amidst all the hue and cry to remove Justice Bhaskar Rao from the post of Karnataka Lokayukta, the Karnataka legal department has said that unless and until a procedure is followed no action can be taken. An official in the law department informed OneIndia that the procedure under the Judges Inquiry Act needs to be followed in case action against the Lokayukta needs to taken.

The opposition in Karnataka has sought for the removal of the Lokayukta on the ground that the institution has been facing corruption charges. A probe by the Special Investigating Team has been set up by the government.

Also read: Removing Karnataka Lokayukta is a long drawn procedure

Follow judges inquiry act: Law Dept

Follow the procedure

Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah made it clear that he had set up a Special Investigating Team to probe into the matter. Further on the demands by the opposition to remove Justice Rao as the Lokayukta, the Chief Minister said that he would be seeking an opinion from the law department.

The law department of Karnataka has said that as per the Judges Inquiry Act, a procedure ought to be followed before a Lokayukta is removed.

The act will apply to the Lokayukta as he is a former judge of the High Court. Lokayuktas are usually former Chief Justices of a High Court of a retired judge of the Supreme Court and hence the Judges Inquiry Act would be applicable.

Further the law department has also said that the opposition needs the numbers to even move a proposal to remove the Lokayukta. If a notice is to be served in the assembly then there shall be not less than 100 members and in the case of the council it shall be at least 100 members.

The speaker if convinced that the numbers are sufficient can then go ahead and set up a committee to probe into the allegations against the Lokayukta.

Will wait for SIT report

Lokayukta, Justice Bhaskar Rao has however made it clear that he will wait for the SIT report before he takes any decision. Despite the opposition raising a demand for his resignation, the Lokayukta has said that the question of him stepping down does not arise until the SIT report is out.

The opposition has also been demanding for a CBI probe into the corruption allegations in the Lokayukta. The Chief Minister however stated that there is no need for a CBI probe as of now in the wake of the SIT already probing the matter.

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