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Process to select Karnataka’s new Lokayukta

The Karnataka government on Thursday started the process to select a new Lokayukta, nearly three weeks after Shivaraj V Patil quit as ombudsman amid media reports that he had violated norms in the acquisition of two plots in Bangalore.

 Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda sent letters to the leaders of opposition in the state assembly, requesting them to suggest names, official sources said.

 The Lokayukta has to be selected by the chief minister in consultation with the high court chief justice, chairman of the council, speaker of the assembly and leaders of the opposition in the two houses.

 Only former judges of the supreme court or former chief justices of the high court can be appointed as Lokayukta. The term is for five years.

 Shivaraj Patil, a former judge of the Supreme  court, quit around 45 days after taking over, following media reports that he had transgressed norms in acquiring two plots from two housing societies in Bangalore.

Patil, who succeeded another former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde on Aug 3, resigned Sep 19, though he denied any violation as alleged.

Gowda had said last week that he would not like to rush the matter of selecting a successor to Patil as it was a sensitive matter.

The state has two Upa Lokayuktas (deputy ombudsmen), who are former judges of the state High Court.

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