BENGALURU: In a rebuff to the Siddaramaiah government, Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday rejected the nomination of V R Sudarshan for the post of chairman of the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC). He also rejected the names of Syed Ulfat Hussein, Dr Ravi Kumar and Mruthyunjaya, all of whom were recommended for appointment as KPSC members.
While Sudarshan’s name has been rejected as he is seen as an active politician associated with the Congress, Dr Ravi Kumar’s name had come up during a Lokayukta raid on K C General Hospital in Bengaluru. Sudarshan had also faced allegations of land grab.
The Lokayukta, which had said it was looking into the allegations, later filed a closure report in two cases — one on Sudarshan filing a false affidavit to obtain a ‘G’ category site from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), and the other related to land encroachment near his native place in Vemgal, Kolar district.
The BJP has challenged the closure report and even petitioned Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao to have the case reinvestigated.
In all, the government had recommended eight names for appointment to the KPSC.
On March 25, Vala approved four — Govindaiah, Raghunandan Ramanna, Nagabhai Bulla and Michael Simon — as members.
On January 4, he had returned the file expressing displeasure over the recommendation of Sudarshan, Ulfat Hussein, Dr Ravi Kumar and Mruthyunjaya, and had sought an explanation from the state. However, the government sent the file back, defending its choices.
On the choice of Sudarshan, a former Congress MLC and spokesman, to head the KPSC, Vala had cited a Supreme Court ruling against the appointment of a former MLA as Punjab Public Service Commission chairman and also the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission.
He had also conveyed strong reservations against appointing people with political affiliations and suspect integrity to the commission.
“It is absolutely essential that the best and finest talent should be drawn in the administration. The administrative services must be composed of men who are honest, upright and independent and who are not swayed by the political winds blowing in the country,” Vala had noted.
The Governor had asked the government to ensure that the recommendations are accompanied by vigilance reports from the respective departments, vetted by the Lokayukta. Vala had also reminded the government of the standards set for any government servant to be nominated to the KPSC.
“A member selected from among government officers should have held office under a state government or the Union government for at least 10 years, and should have occupied the position of Head of Department or Secretary to government in a state or a comparable position in an institution of higher education,” the governor had said.