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Motion for removal of Upa Lokayukta admitted in Karna Assembly

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Amidst Opposition uproar, a motion seeking removal of Upa Lokayukta Subhash Adi was admitted in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly today, three days after a similar move against the Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao over an alleged extortion racket involving his son.

The motion was admitted by Speaker Kagodu Thimappa even as Opposition BJP continued its protest for the second day demanding the resignation of Social Welfare Minister Anjaneya over a TV sting operation showing alleged bribery.

Amidst the din, the government managed to pass a Bill as also the supplementary estimates on the last day of the Assembly's winter session. Following that, the Speaker adjourned the House sine die.

The motion seeking the removal of the Upa Lokayukta was moved by Congress MLA Tanveer Sait, but it was not supported by BJP and JD(S) members.

The Speaker had on Monday accepted a petition from ruling party members against Adi accusing him of "misuse of office, misconduct and inefficiency".

But raising a strong objection against Congress's motion seeking the Upa Lokayukta's removal, BJP's Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar said, "This is not right, it is not clear what are the charges against Upa Lokayukta. The government is trying to shut down the Lokayukta institution."

Former Upa Lokayukta SB Majage had earlier alleged that Adi had closed a case of misconduct against a medical officer from Hubballi, which was a case handled by him.

Following that, some Congress leaders had demanded Adi's resignation. They had also alleged that the medical officer was a relative of Shettar's, during whose chief ministership Adi was appointed as the Upa Lokayukta.

The move against the Upa Lokayuta follows close on the heels of the Assembly admitting a motion seeking the removal of controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Bhaskar Rao over an alleged extortion racket in the anti-graft ombudsman's office involving his son.

(Reopens MDS3)

Procedure for removal of the Upa Lokayukta is similar to that for a Lokayukta.

According to the Lokayukta Act -- recently amended to simplify rules for the removal of the anti-graft ombudsman -- upon admission of the motion, the presiding officers shall refer the matter to the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court for investigation into grounds over which removal is sought.

If the charges against the Lokayukta are established by the inquiry, the motion is then taken up for consideration and adoption before being sent to the governor for assent.

The investigation into misbehaviour or incapacity of the Lokayukta has to be conducted -- as per the procedure provided in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 -- by a three-member committee comprising two judges and a jurist.

Meanwhile, as the House met for the day, BJP continued with its protest seeking removal of Anjaneya. Opposition members entered the Well and raised slogans against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his government as they alleged that the government was "protecting the corrupt".

The opposition is seeking Anjaneya's resignation following a sting operation by a Kannada TV channel that purportedly shows his wife accepting a bribe.

Amidst the din that hit the functioning of the House, the Speaker, however, decided to continue with the proceedings and asked the ministers to table the bills.

But objecting to the introduction of Bills on the last day of the session and their being passed the same day, Shettar said he will not attend the Business Advisory Committee meetings in the future as there was no respect for the decisions taken there.

Following this, the Speaker allowed the motion seeking the removal of the Upa Lokayukta and admitted it amidst strong protests by BJP.

As the protest by BJP seeking Anjaneya's resignation continued, the Speaker adjourned the House. When the House resumed, BJP continued with its protest from the Well even as the Speaker read out the business transacted during the session and cited the Bills passed.

Following this, he adjourned the House sine die.

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First Published: Fri, November 27 2015. 18:02 IST