Speaking at a function in Bengaluru, the governor said that he would have no objection if the government decided to name Justice Hegde as Lokayukta again. "I will have no problem in approving any other name provided the candidate is honest and a person of integrity," he added.
Justice Hegde was unavailable for comment.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka is no mood to reappoint Justice Hegde, say insiders. The name of Justice Bannurmath was suggested by the government for the post, but was turned down by Bharadwaj. He asked the BJP government to find another judge not entangled in any controversy.
Bannurmath is facing allegations of securing allotment of a residential site in judicial layout on a land earmarked for civic amenities.
The post of the Karntaka Lokayukta has remained vacant ever since Justice Shivraj Patil stepped down in September after a controversy erupted over allotment of housing sites for him and his wife allegedly in violation of rules. There were also talks that the government was contemplating scrapping the anti-corruption ombudsman.