In a major embarrassment for the Karnataka government, the state high court Tuesday quashed the appointment of former high court judge Chandrashekaraiah as the state’s Upa Lokayukta or deputy ombudsman.
Justices N. Kumar and H.S. Kempanna set aside the appointment on the ground that chief justice of the high court was not consulted, a constitutional requirement in appointing the Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta.
Chandrashekaraiah, who was Karnataka High Court judge between 1995 and 2004, took over as the second Upa Lokayukta in January, the first major appointment by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
His appointment was challenged by two Bangalore advocates, M. Anand and J.C. Krishna, who contended that the appointment was invalid as it had been made without consulting the chief justice of Karnataka High Court.
Chandrashekaraiah is involved in a row over owning a site from a housing society formed by high court employees.
Karnataka has one more Upa Lokayukta in S.B. Majage, also a former state high court judge.
However, the post of Lokayukta has been lying vacant since Sep 15 last year when former Supreme Court judge Shivaraj V. Patil quit following a row over owning two house sites from two housing societies in Bangalore in violation of rules.