Karnataka: Bannurmath denies governor's charges

Governor had rejected the recommendation to appoint the retired judge as new state Lokayukta, citing a land row.

Published: 07th February 2012 03:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:51 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: Retired Karnataka judge S.R. Bannurmath, recommended by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda as state Lokayukta but rejected by Governor H.R. Bharwaj, said Tuesday that allegations that he owned an additional housing site here against norms were false.

A day after Bhardwaj rejected his name for appointment as the new ombudsman of the state, a hurt Bannurmath told reporters here that there was no factual foundation on allegations made by the governor for not considering his name for the quasi-judicial post on the recommendation of the state government.

"I would like to state that no adverse strictures have been passed by the Supreme Court in any of the cases decided on me. Basic principles of natural justice and fairness require the basis on which these allegations are made known to me, to enable me to meet them fairly," Bannurmath said.

Declining to take any questions, the former chief justice of the Kerala High Court said: "The allegation that the site allotted to me in the judicial layout is illegal on the ground that I own another property is false as I solemnly state that I do not own any other property in the city."

The governor in a communique late Monday said he had formally rejected the advice of the chief minister.

Bhardwaj's action follows Bannurmath deciding to opt out in view of a row that he is the nominee of scam-hit former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa besides allegations of building a house in Bangalore on a plot meant for civic amenities.

In a letter to the chief minister late Monday, the retired judge requested Gowda not to insist on his appointment as lokayukta.

The post has been vacant since Sep 19, 2011, when former Supreme Court judge Shivaraj V. Patil quit following a controversy that he had acquired two house sites in Bangalore from housing societies in violation of rules.

The state government recommended Bannurmath's name Oct 27.

Bhardwaj on one side and Gowda and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other have been publicly sparring over the governor's refusal to appoint Bannurmath.

The formal rejection by Bhardwaj clears the way for the six-month Gowda government to search for a new retired judge for the ombudsman's post.

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