Will decide on Lokayukta after studying file returned by Vala: CM

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday expressed helplessness over Governor Vajubhai Vala’s direction to the government to reconsider the name of Justice P Vishwanath Shetty for the post of Lokayukta.

“What can be done…it (Governor refusing to appoint Lokayukta) happens every time,” he told reporters who sought his reaction to the Governor’s move.

He said he will decide about the next course of action after going through the file sent back by the Governor.

Vala is learnt to have asked the government to reconsider Justice Shetty’s name for the post following complaints that he had purchased land violating rules. A non-government organisation had recently submitted certain documents to Raj Bhavan, charging Justice Shetty and his family with purchasing three residential plots and seven acres of agriculture land in violation of rules.

The chief minister had recommended Justice Shetty’s name after consulting a high-level committee, comprising Karnataka High Court Chief Justice S K Mukherjee, presiding officers of both Houses of the legislature, K B Koliwad and D H Shankaramurthy, and Opposition leaders, JagadishShettar and K S Eshwarappa.

BJP reacts

Senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar on Tuesday blamed Siddaramaiah for hurrying through the process of selecting the new Lokayukta.

“At the meeting convened to select the new Lokayukta, we placed the names of Justice N K Patil, Justice Anand Byrareddy and Justice Vishwanath Shetty in that order.

“Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was going ahead and recommending Justice Shetty for the post,” Shettar said.

Shettar said he pointed out that there were charges against Justice Shetty that he had purchased land in violation of rules and a background check needed to be done. But the chief minister dismissed it as a “trivial issue”.

Eshwarappa said the BJP members at the meeting had finally endorsed the chief minister’s decision to recommend Justice Shetty’s name as they did not want to be seen confronting the government all the time.

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