BANGALORE: With the state government having allegedly failed to follow laid-down procedures while appointing Justice Chandrashekaraiah as Upa Lokayukta, the question of its ‘powers to recall’ has come into focus.
The only option left in the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984, for the removal of Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta is through impeachment in the Legislature on the ground of any misbehaviour or incapacity of the incumbent.
While endorsing the view of Karnataka HC Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen that the state government has failed to consult him before appointing Justice Chandrashekharaiah, former Karnataka advocate general Harnalli said that only on this point the Lokayukta or the Upa Lokayukta could not be recalled.
Another legal luminary in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region Virbhushan echoed the opinion of Harnalli and said that even in the Constitution there was no such provision to recall the judge or any occupants of equivalent posts.
Section 6(1) of the Act states “the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the Governor passed after an address by each House of the State Legislature supported by a majority of the total membership of the House and a majority of not less than two thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the Governor in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity”.
According to the Act, the procedure for the removal of either the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta can be adopted on the lines of similar nature of removal of any sitting judge on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity.