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Upa Lokayukta Case: Hearing in Karnataka HC Wednesday

The need for Chief Justice for consolation is alone meaningful consultation as declared by the Supreme Court

Tuesday December 3, 2019 7:24 PM, Pradip Bhattacharya, ummid.com

Upa Lokayukta Case

Benagluru: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Karnataka High Court challenging the recent appointment of Justice (Retd.) BS Patil as Karnataka Upa Lokayukta. It may be noted that the state Governor on November 20 issued an order appointing justice Patil as Upa Lokayukta.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow. Advocate S Basavaraj will appear on behalf of the petitioner, filed by Samaj Parivathana Samudaya (SPS), a voluntary organisation in Karnataka.

The petitioner has questioned the process undertaken by the Governor. As per the Act, the Governor should appoint the Upa Lokayukta on the advice given by the Chief Minister in consultation with the Chief Justice HC, the Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council, the Speaker of the Vidhan Soudha, Karnataka, the leader of the Opposition in the State Legislative Council and the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Vidhan Souda.

The Petitioner has claimed that the Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa did not consult the Chief Justice of the High Court for the appointment of Justice BS Patil as Upa Lokayukta.

The petitioner has also claimed that on July 24 last year, then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had written a letter to former Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and sought a reply seeking a suitable person for the office of Upa Lokayukta. Chief justice then chose AN Venugopalagouda as the most suitable candidate for the office.

After the chief justice, Dinesh Maheshwari had left, the new chief justice was sworn in Karnataka. Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka took charge as Karnataka Chief Justice in May 2019. On June 20, 2019, this year, the Chief Minister HD. Kumaraswamy asked the new Chief Justice for his recommendation. The Chief Justice Oka, in his letter dated June 22, reiterated his predecessor's pick and recommended A N Venugopalagouda for the appointment of Upa Lokayukta.

When new chief minister Yeddyurappa took over as CM, he sent a letter to Chief Justice Oka on November 12 this year, informing that after consulting the four consulting authorities, it was decided that Justice Patil be recommended for the post of Upa Lokayukta. However, the Chief Minister did not take any consult with the chief Justice Oka, the petitioner claimed. The lack of consultation with the Chief Justice smacks of utter disregard for the rule of law and sheer fraud on power, the petition stated.

It is further pointed out that Chief Justice Oka had written a letter to the Chief Minister on November 14 stating that there was no material placed before him by the state government “warranting a change of the recommendation earlier made” by the Chief Justice and his predecessor.

The petitioner said that regardless of Chief Justice Oka's reservations, the Governor went on to issue the order appointing Justice Patil as Upa Lokayukta.

The need for Chief Justice for consolation is alone meaningful consultation as declared by the Supreme Court, the petitioner claimed.

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