Karnataka CM's choice for Lokayukta quits over land scam allegations

   Feb 7, 11:58 am

Bangalore, Feb.7 (ANI): Former Kerala High Court Chief Justice S R Bannurmath has decided to quit the post of Lokayukta in Karnataka.

Karnataka Chief Minister Sadanand Gowda said that the judge had sent a letter to him, requesting the state government not to pursue the matter with Governor H R Bharadwaj.

"I received a letter from Justice Bannurmath stating that because of the various things that have appeared in the newspaper, he is hurt, and it may not be possible for him, even though, if he is appointed as the Lokayukta, to perform his duties. So, he said that he is withdrawing his name and he requested me to get back to him from the government," said Gowda.

Justice Bannurmath backed out after Bharadwaj rejected the government's recommendation to appoint him as Lokayukta citing a land row among other reasons.

Hitting out at Bharadwaj, Justice Bannurmath said the allegations against him were baseless, untrue and unsubstantiated.

"The allegation that allotment of a site to me in a judicial layout is illegal is baseless. I do not own any other property. Hence this allegation is baseless," said Justice Bannurmath at a news conference here.

The appointment of a new Lokayukta became a contentious issue in October 2011 when Gowda recommended Justice Bannurmath 's name. The post had fallen vacant when Justice Shivaraj Patil resigned in September in a land allotment row.

Rejecting the recommendations of the state government, a Raj Bhavan communique had said, "The Governor of Karnataka, having considered the proposal received from the Government through the Chief Secretary, regarding appointment of Justice S.R.Bannurmath as Karnataka Lokayukta and having taken into consideration the contents of subsequent correspondence between the Governor and Chief Minister, has formally rejected the advice tendered by the Chief Minister in this regard."

The file was also returned to the government. (ANI)

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