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defanging the LokAyukta

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Governance

Chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday blamed former PM H D Deve Gowda for the transfer of Lokayukta ADGP Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar, prompting the latter to dismiss it as ‘‘utter nonsense’’. ‘‘It is said that his (Gaonkar’s) transfer is politically motivated and done immediately after the release of former CM B S Yeddyurappa to protect the corrupt. Efforts are on to blame me. But the fact is that Gaonkar had written to the chief secretary stating that the former PM had telephoned him,’’ Sadananda Gowda said. ‘‘This had put him (Gaonkar) in an embarrassing situation. It had become difficult for him to investigate pending matters,’’ he added.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

Now, how is the former PM (who hardly deserved that status in the first place) calling up Mr Gaonkar (which Mr Gowda had no business to), supposed to cause Mr Gaonkar, an IPS officer of the rank of an ADGP, any embarrassment? Who is Mr Gowda trying to fool? Very clearly, he is showing himself up to be his mentor (BSY)'s stooge, as has been the talk all the while. Neither is it doing the BJP any good, nor the state.
    
The report further adds:

Sadananda Gowda has defended the appointment of IPS officers M V Satyanarayana Rao as ADGP and J Arun Chakravarthi as DIG of Lokayukta. The high court had rapped Rao for not executing summons to former minister G Janardhana Reddy when he was IGP. Chakravarthi, as Shimoga SP, had allegedly not taken cognizance of a bereaved man's complaint that his daughter might have been murdered by her husband. Referring to Rao, the CM said: "I have taken the advocate-general’s opinion and he said Rao hasn't committed any mistake. So, we appointed him. Chakravarthi has been posted to the Lokayukta as the DIG post was vacant.''

Not at all convincing. With so many big names from the BSY cabinet facing serious charges, the intent appears very clear, particularly with Mr Ashoka, who is also on the list, continuing to head the Home ministry, which obviously decides on the postings. As such, there can't be many takers for Mr Gowda's comment cited below, in the extracts from the same report.

On the recent mass transfer of police officials in the state, the CM said it had been done by the Police Establishment Board taking into account the vacancies, promotions and the Lokayukta report. 'There is no politics in this', he added.

One wonders if he can access the minutes of the Police Establishment Board meetings to check the above out.

Notwithstanding the comments made by IPS officer and former Lokayukta SP, Mr Madhukar Shetty, that there were black sheep in the watchdog too, the Karnataka LokAyukta, under Justice Santosh Hegde, had, for the first time in the history of the state, managed to bring in a semblence of accountability in the governance. Yes, a lot more needs to be done. But, the Gowda government seems headed towards defanging the entire set up, further corroborated by the state BJP president, Mr K S Eshwarappa's remarks suggesting closing down of the establishment itself, cited in the report.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

psaram42's picture

Does Jan Lokpal bill address the problem?

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If it did CMs like Sadananda Gouda can be put in check. The three arms of civic triangle viz Law Makeing, enforcement and punishment arms of the civic triangle should be independent. Law makers should stick to only law making. My point is that law makers should not be contoling the appointment of the watch dog. Independent Judiciary should.

murali772's picture

Earning the Governor's ire

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The abrupt transfer of additional DGP Jeevan Kumar V Gaonkar from the Karnataka Lokayukta has angered governor H R Bhardwaj. Speaking after the fifth convocation of Tumkur University, Bhardwaj took exception to the state government’s decision to transfer Gaonkar when he was investigating allegations against politicians. “The transfer of good officers will send a wrong message,” he said. The government had, in the past, transferred DIG Pronab Mohanty, who was “one of the best officers in Karnataka”, he said. “I am watching all these developments.’’ The governor came down heavily on the Sadananda Gowda government for delaying the appointment of a Lokayukta. “The government should act responsibly and take care not to politicize the Lokayukta’s appointment. They should appoint a person with an impeccable track record.”

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

Well said, Sir.
   

Muralidhar Rao
tvidya's picture

Dilution of Lokayukta

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When a Minister tried to influence/ pleading innocent to Justice Santosh Hegde at his house, was shown the door by Justice Hegde . DeveGowda could not have dared to call any Officer during Hegde's time. It is obvious that Lokayukta is getting diluted. Mr Gaonkar, an IPS officer of the rank of an ADGP,appears to have written to Govt about the threat by Deve Gowda and hence he is transferred. It looks like a fairy tale. How can ADGP be so coward seeking transfer for a silly call from DeveGowda appeared threatening to ADGP? Could it have happened during Justice Hegdes regime? Now it is time for enlightened Citizens to protest the dilution of Lokayukta . Yes it is not feasible to go on dharna, march past etc too often . But frequent press releases from Institutions like IAC may strengthen the enlightened media. Only Governor is doing the work of opposition as most oppositions are part of the sin group. T.Vidyadhar

murali772's picture

the obfuscation

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Asked if Gaonkar had sought transfer because of the embarrassment caused to him, Gowda avoided a direct reply.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

Muralidhar Rao
adeep369's picture

I have the utmost respect for

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I have the utmost respect for Mr.Hegde for the commendable work he has done during his tenure as Lokayukta.Lets just get our facts right before playing the blame game.As a responsible citizen i  feel the media has lost all credibility &  just reports & prints rubbish!!

Firstly how many of us have read Mr.Hegde's report on illegal mining? None.As it is reliably learnt, his report does contain a lot many mistakes which not many of us know of.

Secondly its definately the government's mistake to have transferred Mr.Gaonkar abruptly.

 Mr.Rao who has taken over as the new ADGP is supposed to be an officer of impeccable integrity.The fact that is coming up in the media that he was pulled  up by a court for not having enforced the serving of warrants on Janardhan Reddy is true.But as it was later clarified by the court itself it really is not the job of IPS officer of the rank of IGP to see that warrants are served so much as the entire governments.It was supposed to be done by station level officers which is to be overseen by the district Superintendent of Police.That apart a fact that a very few of us know is that Mr.Rao has worked in the CBI & handled very high profile cases exceptionally well.He very seriously implicated union ministers to the likes of Jaffer Sharrief, Veerappa Moily & ex-CM Bangarappa.So I personally feel his posting into the Lokayukta can only mean big trouble for Yeddurappa & gang.

If anything i feel the state government has dug its own grave by posting him into an institution like Lokayukta unknowingly!

psaram42's picture

Welcome adeep369

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Welcome adeep369

             We are solely dependent on media to get the news about all happenings around us.

How does one get to know "lot many mistakes" in Hegde’s report? It is again by some other media. So what is the meaning of your general sweeping statement: -

            "Media having lost all credibility & just reports & prints rubbish!!"

murali772's picture

task cut out?

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As a responsible citizen i  feel the media has lost all credibility &  just reports & prints rubbish!!

As a responsible citizen, I'll differentiate between good journalism and bad journalism, and not club them all as rubbish.

Firstly how many of us have read Mr.Hegde's report on illegal mining? None.

I haven't read the report myself. But, I had attended this seminar, and quite a lot of the contents were discussed openly at the meet

As it is reliably learnt, his report does contain a lot many mistakes which not many of us know of.

Neither you, I presume.

Secondly its definately the government's mistake to have transferred Mr.Gaonkar abruptly.

It doesn't appear to be a mistake. It was more a deliberate act.

It was supposed to be done by station level officers which is to be overseen by the district Superintendent of Police.

The SP was reporting to Mr Rao, I presume. In which case, what action did Mr Rao take against his sub-ordinates?

That apart a fact that a very few of us know is that Mr.Rao has worked in the CBI & handled very high profile cases exceptionally well. He very seriously implicated union ministers to the likes of Jaffer Sharrief, Veerappa Moily & ex-CM Bangarappa. So I personally feel his posting into the Lokayukta can only mean big trouble for Yeddurappa & gang. If anything i feel the state government has dug its own grave by posting him into an institution like Lokayukta unknowingly!

And, tomorrow, what guarantee is there that he too will not be shunted out to "save him from embarassment", if a Deve Gowda or his like makes a threatening call to him? And, what happens to the investigations even as the officials in charge are summarily shunted out? Whatever may be Mr Rao's calibre, with what kind of a dedication can he work under these circumstances? Isn't the intent pretty clear? For all the implications, Jaffer Sharrief, Veerappa Moily & Bangarappa, got away more or less free. And, perhaps, that's the task assigned to Mr Rao.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

And now - the gag order

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The gag order, which came into force with immediate effect, also applies to Lokayukta officials. It seems to be a fallout of recent cases involving powerful politicians. The notification comes soon after some Lokayukta officials were asked to probe the cases on MLAs and ministers, including home minister R Ashoka. - - - - Apparently irked by revelations by officials regarding cases of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, sources said the laws and restrictions restricted officials' freedom of expression. - - - - The new law also binds on media organizations as guidelines clearly state that action will be initiated against members of media who represent facts or distort the version given by the designated officer.

For the full report in the ToI, click here. Obviously, the politicos are finding it increasingly difficult to answer the questions being raised in the media. Solution - simple, come clean!

Whatever, it's good to see that there's resistance to the move within the department too, as seen from the following para in the same report.

Police officials called the directive "ridiculous and vague". "The order clearly violates Article 19 (a) of the Constitution dealing with freedom of speech and expression. Why does such a gag order only apply to police and not to politicians and bureaucrats who hold higher posts?'' asked a senior inspector, who had been reprimanded twice by his bosses for speaking on crime to television channels.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

embarrassment transfer - Democle's sword

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Lokayukta police on Thursday quizzed home and transport minister R Ashoka in connection with alleged illegal denotification of two pieces of land in Bangalore. - - - - The minister appeared before Lokayukta SP PK Shivashankar and DySP Abdul Ahad at 5.45pm and left at 7.15pm. Officials said the minister cooperated with investigators and answered their queries.

For the full report in the ToI, click here

The questioning of none less than the Home minister himself by state police officials over a corruption issue, I suppose, is unprecedented in the history of the country itself.

Whatever, if these officials ask difficult questions, I guess, the simple way to tackle the problem would be to just get some random rabblerouser to call them up, talk rough, leak the story to the press, and because of the resulting "embarrassment" caused to the officials, shift them out, like with ADGP Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar.
   

Muralidhar Rao
psaram42's picture

The institution of the Lokaukta should be strengthened

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Obiviously the institution of the Lokaukta should be strengthened. It should be provided with strong fangs instead of defanging.

murali772's picture

Home minister's position untenable

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An embattled former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and the ruling BJP appear headed for more trouble as the Supreme Court on Friday directed a panel to make recommendations whether the CBI should look into illegalities allegedly committed by top politicians and major corporates, including the Adani and Jindal groups, on illegal mining in the state. - - -The illegalities cited included alleged bribes paid to Yeddyurappa’s relatives by a Jindal firm in return for favourable decision. - - - The directive was issued by the forest bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, after hearing an interim application filed by Karnataka-based NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (SPS), which had filed PIL on illegal mining. The bench asked the SC-constituted Central Empowered Committee to give its opinion in two weeks when the matter comes up for hearing. - - -The interim application referred to the linkages between then CM Yeddyurappa and South West Mining Company (SWMC) through Jindal Steel (JSW). It said JSW, through its subsidiary SWMC, made payments to the close relatives of Yeddyurappa as a quid pro quo for receiving a favourable recommendation for captive consumption of iron ore. - - - The application alleged that instead of facilitating investigations into these issues by the Lokayukta, the state government, to weaken the investigation, transferred key investigating officers like ADGP Jeevan Kumar V Gaonkar and DIG Pronab Kumar Mohanty even before the completion of their tenure at Lokayukta police.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

How can the Home Minister, who effected the transfers (apart from being involved in other denotification scams), be allowed to continue in the ministry, now?
 

Muralidhar Rao

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