BANGALURU: Former chairperson of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) and chairman of the Karnataka Law Commission Justice S R Nayak said that he was eligible to be appointed as Lokayukta of Karnataka.
However, he was quick to add his statement should not be construed as he was eyeing the post. “I am only stating the legal position. None from the state government has contacted me in this regard or sought my willingness to be appointed for the post,” Nayak, whose name is also doing rounds for the Lokayukta post, told reporters here on Thursday. He was reacting to the reports in a section of the media that being a former chairperson of the KSHRC, Nayak is legally barred from being appointed as Lokayukta.
He said that the media has misread the Section 24 (3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, which says: “On ceasing to hold office, the chairperson or a member shall be ineligible for further employment under the government of the state or under the Government of India.
“Lokayukta is not an employee of the state government. He is appointed for the post. There is no master and servant relations between the government and the Lokayukta. So this clause doesn’t come in the way of appointing former chairpersons of KSHRC to the post of Lokayukta,” Justice Nayak said.
He said there were examples where persons who served as chairpersons or members of quasi judicial bodies appointed as Lokayukta. “Justice Shivaraj Patil was the member of the NHRC before he was appointed as Lokayukta. Justice N Venkatachala was the chairperson of the Green Tribunal before he became Lokayukta,” he said.