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Delay in lokayukta appointment: HC warns K'taka govt

July 16, 2012 21:02 IST

Pulling up the Bharatiya Janata Party government for "inordinate delay" in appointing the lokayukta, Karnataka high court on Monday warned it would write to the governor that there is a Constitutional crisis if it failed to respond positively.

Making stinging observations on a PIL seeking speedy appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman, lying vacant for 10 months, the court issued notice returnable in a week to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who assumed office only last week.

In a stern warning to Karnataka government if it failed to respond positively, a division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen said, "We will write to the governor saying there is a Constitutional crisis in the state...if this continues, the government will be in trouble."

The court also expressed its displeasure over a statement made by Law Minister Suresh Kumar that the government was awaiting the Supreme Court's decision on the issue.

The bench sought to know as to why the government was linking the two as the matter before the apex court was that of the appointment of the upalokayukta.

The court adjourned the matter to July 23.

The post of lokayukta has remained vacant since September 19 last year after former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj Patil, who succeeded high-profile Santosh Hegde, quit in the wake of allegations of getting land allotment in violation of rules.

After Patil's exit, the Bharatiya Janata Party government recommended the name of former Kerala High Court Chief Justice S R Bannurmath but Governor H R Bhardwaj refused to accept it insisting on a "spotless candidate".

As the three-month-long standoff continued, Bannurmath himself opted out of the post in February last, saying he was hurt by the allegations relating to land allotment.

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