BENGALURU: The High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to take steps to replace officers who have overstayed at the Lokayukta police wing.
Justice Venugopala Gowda issued the direction during a hearing on a Lokayukta case that has been pending for long. He also directed the Lokayukta to submit the details of its permanent and contractual staff during the next hearing, scheduled for September 28.
Justice Gowda said leaving an officer posted at the Lokayukta for more than the prescribed period is against public interest. “If the government wants good governance, it should do some overhauling,” he said.
Justice Gowda, who asked the state to take steps to strengthen the anti-corruption institution, described the number of vacancies in the police department as “quite alarming”.
While Justice Gowda was reviewing the inordinate delays in investigation by the Lokayukta police and delay in prosecution of accused, Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna filed an affidavit from the under secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR).
The affidavit contained details of the prosecution sanction requests that are pending and also circulars issued dated July 28, 2015 and May 22, 2015 directing that department heads be notified to expedite according sanction for prosecution when it comes to Lokayukta cases. S K Pattanayak, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, filed another affidavit on vacancies in the Lokayukta and the police department.
Ponnanna submitted that steps have been taken to fill vacancies in both bodies, and in 30-45 days, at least 50 per cent of the vacancies would be filled.
In reply, Justice Gowda said, “There is positive response from the government to the issues that figured in the deliberations of this court. But there should be expeditious action keeping in view the present day scenario,” he said.