BENGALURU: The ruling Congress, which until recently pursued a campaign to remove Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi from his post, seems to have done a flip-flop. Some see it as a face-saving exercise by the party that seems to have failed to gather enough evidence to back its claims.
Sources point out that the charges, mostly about Adi exceeding his jurisdiction, unlike the case against former Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, whose son was accused of running an extortion racket within the Lokayukta office, are weak.
The BJP that has been defending Justice Adi’s case both within and outside the House, has demanded an apology from the Chief Minister.
Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar did not mince words stating that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had thrust Congress leader V Ugrappa to the forefront to make these allegations against Justice Adi and that he should apologise now.
“There were no complaints or allegations against him (Subhash Adi). This has been done only for political reasons. It is the Chief Minister who pushed a few MLAs to do this deed. It was merely an excuse to humiliate Justice Adi. Siddaramaiah must apologise to him,” Shettar demanded.
Shettar also maintained that Ugrappa made the allegations without any concrete documents and questioned why Ugrappa chose not to release the documents if he was so convinced of Justice Adi’s guilt.
“When Suresh Kumar sought a copy of the petition moved against Adi, the Speaker did not respond to his request. Why would they do that if they had actual evidence of any misconduct or guilt?” Shettar said.
Congress MLC V Ugrappa, who has held a series of press conferences to reveal about the alleged misconduct of Justice Adi, said that it is up to the Speaker now to decide what has to be done.
“The Speaker, rightly or wrongly, on record has made it clear that there is a prima facie case, but the material is insufficient. If there is prima facie case, then he has to refer the matter to the Chief Justice. We will have to see what he does now,” Ugrappa said.
Even if the government decides to drop the matter, the case filed in the court by the Upa Lokayukta may proceed.
Legal experts say that the petition has sought directions on several issues with regard to the role of the Speaker when such a motion is admitted in the House.
Justice Subhash Adi, in his petition, apart from seeking the quashing of the communication from the Assembly secretariat about being precluded from his duties, has also questioned the power of the respondents to seek any information from any source, after the notice of motion is admitted.
Minister Breached Trust of House, People: Suresh Kumar
The duel between principal opposition party BJP and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra over the motion to remove Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi intensified on Tuesday with senior BJP leader Suresh Kumar accusing Jayachandra of committing breach of trust of the Assembly.
Taking serious exception to Jayachandra’s statement that the motion for ouster of Justice Adi had been only tabled in the House and not admitted by it, Suresh Kumar said it amounted to tampering with the proceedings of the House and misleading it and the people.
BJP leaders, including leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar, will discuss the issue after the council polls of December 27 and take a decision on moving a Breach of Privilege Motion against the Law Minister, said Suresh Kumar, also a former law minister.
Accusing the Congress of having ulterior motives in moving the motion for Adi’s ouster in a hurry without strong evidence, Suresh Kumar said, “The ruling party has realised its folly late in the day. They are trying to extricate themselves from the mess by twisting the truth as they see that their move will be defeated. Through his conduct, Jayachandra has lowered the dignity of the post of Law Minister.”
Presenting a copy of the proceedings of the Assembly, Suresh Kumar asserted that the Speaker had announced, amid the din, that the motion for removal of Upa Lokayukta had been admitted.
Replying to questions about Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa too endorsing Jayachandra’s statement, Suresh Kumar said, “I have immense respect for the Speaker’s integrity and stature. But in this episode, he was under tremendous pressure. The ruling party has forced the Speaker into an act he would not have committed otherwise.”
Jayachandra countered Suresh Kumar by dismissing as “not authentic” the document of the Assembly proceedings produced by Suresh Kumar relating to Adi’s ouster. To this, Kumar said, “I have neither the habit nor the experience of producing fake documents.”