BANGALORE: The continued impasse on the appointment of Justice S R Bannurmath as the Lokayukta has prompted Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to question the Governor whether justice is not available to judges.
Gowda, in a letter, a copy of which was obtained through the RTI Act by an activist, expressed dismay over the delay.
Stating that Karnataka has suffered on account of “false propaganda” against Justice Bannurmath, the Chief Minister said that the delay has also affected the cause of eradicating corruption.
“I ask Your Excellency with all humility. Is there no justice for judges who have retired from service after rendering justice to one and all?” Gowda asked the Governor.
The CM, sticking to his stand, said, “I believe that it is my duty as Chief Minister and your duty as Governor to protect the image of the judiciary, and in particular protecting the image and reputation of an upright judge like Justice Bannurmath.”
Refuting allegations against Bannurmath that he was allotted a site in the Judicial Layout reserved for public utility, Gowda said that after an inquiry, it was found that these allegations were false.
Highlighting the Constitutional provisions on the appointment of the Lokayukta, the Chief Minister said Justice Bannurmath’s name was endorsed by four authorities among six, including himself and the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. The other two, including Opposition leaders Siddaramaiah and Motamma, while suggesting a different name, however, had not opposed the name of Justice Bannurmath.
Gowda recalled that on the eve of the retirement of Bannurmath as Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, Justice V S Krishna Iyer had remarked, “His departure leaves a void in the judiciary of Kerala because it is difficult to find a man of his humility, erudition, compassion and gentlemanliness.”