BENGALURU: In a major embarrassment to the Siddaramaiah government, Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala has returned the file recommending the name of retired Karnataka High Court judge P Vishwanath Shetty for the post of Lokayukta. The governor has asked the government to select a person with an impeccable track record.
The governor, according to sources in the Chief Minister’s office, has expressed his displeasure at the way the high-level committee headed by Siddaramaiah selected Justice Shetty’s name without proper scrutiny of his personal record and antecedents.
It is learnt the governor’s reluctance comes in the wake of complaints in the civil society against Justice Shetty of getting a site allotted in the Judicial Layout by allegedly furnishing false information. Social activist S R Hiremath had raised the issue and also submitted a memorandum to the governor requesting him to reject the state government’s recommendation.
Hiremath has also alleged that Shetty had appeared for mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy before the Supreme Court. Reddy was indicted by the Karnataka Lokayuta in the illegal mining case.
Apart from Siddaramaiah, who is the chairman of the high-level committee to select the Lokayukta, the meeting was presided over by Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court S K Mukherjee.
Earlier too, the governor had refused to give his assent for the state government’s recommendation of Justice S R Nayak for the Lokayukta’s post.
The anti-corruption agency has remained headless since the ignominious exit of former Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao in December 2015.