BANGALORE: : In a setback to the government, the High Court on Tuesday set aside the appointment of Justice Chandrashekharaiah as the Upalokayukta as his “appointment was not in accordance with the law”.
The division bench headed by Justice N Kumar quashed the state’s notification issued on January 21, 2012, appointing Chandrashekariah as the Upalokayukta, by declaring it as null and void.
This is the second time in a week that the state government is facing embarrassment in the High Court on key appointments.
The court had quashed the appointment of Shankar Bidari as IG&DGP last week.
Announcing its verdict on the petition filed by advocates Anand Murthy and Janekere C Krishna, the bench found that the procedure adopted by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in the appointment of Chandrashekharaiah was not in accordance with the law and hence, it was unconstitutional, illegal and void.
The court also ordered the government to start afresh the process of appointing the Upalokayukta as it felt the post cannot be kept vacant for long. Further, the bench listed out guidelines to be followed in future in the appointment of Lokayukta and Upalokayukta in which the High Court Chief Justice’s opinion will have primacy.
The court turned down Chandrashekharaiah’s counsel’s request for staying the order for eight weeks to appeal in the Supreme Court.
Reacting to the verdict, the Chief Minister defended his decision on the appointment of both Upalokayukta and DG&IGP stating that both decisions were taken within the legal framework.
To a question, Gowda said he would decide on approaching the Supreme Court on the High Court verdict after going through the verdict and consulting the Advocate General.
Justice Chandrashekhariah told Express, “I respect the order and will abide by it. I have not got a copy of the order. Finally, it’s the court’s decision. I cannot comment on it.”