BANGALORE: A lack of convincing replies by the government on proper consultative process, the cloud of controversies, the Apex court’s observations and Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen’s letter were the main reasons that made Governor H R Bhardwaj to return the file on appointing former Kerala Chief Justice S R Bannurmath as the next Lokayukta.
“There is no need to insist on a particular name who does not inspire confidence,” the Governor noted in his report, a copy of which is available with Express.
“Ensure that the person who gets appointed as Lokayukta is above controversy and independent to do full justice to the task in hand. I request you to look for alternatives who can inspire public confidence to head the Karnataka Lokayukta,” the Governor suggested.
“The advice of the CM,” the Governor wrote in his report, “to appoint Justice S R Bannurmath is without merit and goes against the dicta laid down by the Supreme Court in the context of maintaining integrity and independence of the Integrity Institution.”
He also insisted that the next Lokayukta should be from the Supreme Court. “All Lokayuktas in the recent past have been distinguished former judges of the SC and it is during the tenure of these distinguished persons, the Lokayukta of Karnataka acquired its present stature,” he observed.
He also referred to the key cases investigated by the Lokayukta, including that of the former CM and a few sitting ministers, erratic transfers of police officers and the lackadaisical approach in dealing with prosecution cases.
The Governor further said that to “uphold the rule of law and to take forward the commendable work done by former Supreme Court Justice N Santosh Hegde, it is imperative that an eminent former judge of the SC should succeed him, particularly in the background of continuous struggle to uphold Rule of Law in Karnataka”.
Referring to the letter written by HC Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen withdrawing his earlier suggestion to consider Bannurmath, the Governor said he refused to accept the CM’s suggestions that there was a proper consultative process while choosing the new