Bangalore, Nov 16: Rejecting the recommendation for appointing former Kerala High Court chief justice S R Bannurmath as Karnataka Lokayukta, Governor H R Bhardwaj today asked the BJP government to find another judge not entangled in any controversy.
“The government had proposed the name of Justice Bannurmath for the post of Lokayukta. I do not agree with that and therefore sent back the name as his (Bannurmath) name is embroiled in a number of controversies,” he told reporters here.
Bannurmath is facing allegations of securing allotment of a residential site in judicial layout on a land earmarked for civic amenities.
Bhardwaj, who has been having uneasy relationship with the BJP government ever since he occupied the gubernatorial post, said on a sarcastic note, “It is not difficult to find a judge who has no controversy. The government can do a Google search, they will find names.”
The Lokayukta post is lying vacant for the past two months after Justice Shivraj Patil quit over a land controversy with opinion divided between the government and the Opposition on appointing Bannurmath. Patil, a former supreme court judge who succeeded Santosh Hegde in August, had quit over allotment of housing sites to him and his wife in violation of rules.
On the recent transfer of Lokayukta Police ADGP Jeevan Kumar V Gaonkar, Bhardwaj said, “Transfer of Lokayukta police officials sets a bad precedent, it should not have happened.”
Gaonkar's transfer has raised a controversy as he was investigating high-profile cases, including those against former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and JDS supremo Deve Gowda's son Balakrishne Gowda.
Bhardwaj, a former Union law minister, asserted that he would not allow breakdown of the institution of the Lokayukta, “I know how to enforce,” he said, but did not elaborate.