: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the process of appointing a new Lokayukta for the state is at final stage and it will be completed at the earliest.
The Chief Minister’s statement came a day after the Karnataka High Court indicated that the process of appointment of the Lokayukta was under active consideration of the state government.
“According to me the process (of appointment of Lokayukta) is at its final stage, it will be done at the earliest, it won’t take many days…,” Bommai told reporters in Mysuru in response to a question.
The Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, who is part of the panel along with the Chief Minister, Speaker of the Assembly, Chairman of the Legislative Council and the leaders of the opposition in both the Houses which appoints the Lokayukta, gave the indication while hearing a PIL on Tuesday seeking the appointment at the earliest.
The petition, filed by advocate Umapathi S seeking direction to the State to appoint the Lokayukta at the earliest, pointed out that the post has been vacant since January 2022. Justice P Vishwanath Shetty had stepped down as the head of Karnataka Lokayukta in January, after five years of service.
The division bench of the High Court headed by the Chief Justice posted the matter for hearing again after 10 days. The court said that since the matter was under consideration, the PIL may be disposed of.
But the petitioner-advocate requested for keeping it pending till the appointment was made citing earlier alleged instances where the court order was not followed by the government. The petition said: due to non-appointment of Lokayukta, the complaints and grievances are pending for disposal for several years and fresh complaints and grievances keep on accumulating to the pending list of grievances and complaints.