BENGALURU: It is official. Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao and Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi were precluded from discharging their duties on Friday even as a motion to remove them has been moved in the State Legislature.
Exactly a week after the motion was moved, office of Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa marked a copy of the letter written to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) to the Registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta.
Sources in Lokayukta told Express the letter marked to Registrar M S Balakrishna (In-charge) stated that the motion was moved in the Houses of the State Legislature to remove the Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta.
Accordingly, Section 6 (14) of the Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2015, will come into effect. The communication did not spell if the motion was admitted.
As per Section 6 (14) of the Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which was gazetted on August 25, 2015, the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta, against whom a motion is moved before the House or the Houses of the State Legislature for removal, is precluded from discharge of his duties during the pendency of motion for his removal before the state legislature.
Sources in Lokayukta said the communication from the office of the Speaker does not indicate directly that the Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta are restrained from discharging their duties.
An official said, “Therefore, we have to approach legal experts on the future course of action, which was not stated in the Speaker’s communication.”
The communication from the Speaker’s office was sent to registrar after he went to the office of the Speaker on Thursday as there was no response to the letter written by him on November 30 to know what he should do as neither the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta were attending office.
“The Speaker’s secretary should study the evidence in support of allegations against Upa Lokayukta and then refer it to the Speaker. The motion can be moved only then. But in this case, the Speaker’s office has sought the documents from the office of Lokayukta with regard to the allegations, after the motion was moved. Now we are going through a crisis and a tough situation,” a Lokayukta judicial officer said.
Sources said the registrar has directed the enquiry officers to call the cases that are scheduled and continue enquiries.
In cases where the enquiry is complete, the authorities have been asked to prepare a draft report to be sent, under Section 12(3), to the State Government to take action against the tainted officials and keep this information in a sealed envelope.
“The date when the draft was prepared should be on the envelope so that enquiry officials are not held responsible, if there is a delay in submission of report. Directions are issued to the officers to take the service of experts in cases that require technical assistance, as provided under Section 15 of Karnataka Lokayukta Act,” an official said.