Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa thanked Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for his services on Thursday..." />
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Yeddyurappa thanks Lokayukta, lets him go

Mangalore Today News Network

YeddyurappaBangalore, June 24: Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa thanked Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for his services on Thursday and said he will not embarrass the popular Justice by asking him to withdraw his resignation.

Addressing a press meet, Yeddyurappa denied the charge that his Government had shown utter disregard to the office of Lokayukta and sought to rebut the charges made by Justice Hegde.

He blamed the delay in appointing Upa Lokayukta on back-to-back elections, which had kept the government occupied. He also pointed out that the Upa Lokayukta post had been left vacant for than two years in the past.

Justice Hegde had said the delay in appointing a new Upa Lokayukta had let complaints pile up in the office, causing severe inconvenience to people. 

On not granting suo moto power, which successive Lokayuktas have demanded repeatedly, Yeddyurappa said the issue had been debated for the last 10 to 12 years and no government had been able to go beyond setting up cabinet committees to look into it. 

He asked Congress and JD(s) leaders to explain why they could not meet the Lokayukta key demand when they were in office.

While explaining the reasons for his resignation Justice Hegde had cited several instances of suspended officers being reinstated to the same post, despite facing corruption charges.  Yeddyurappa said he had accepted a suggestion by former Upa Lokayukta and passed an order to stop such practices.

An immediate trigger for Lokayukta’s resignation was the disappearance of five lakh tonnes of illegal iron ore seized in March. As the Government allegedly moved in to suspend the officer who had seized the iron ore, Lokayukta expressed his helplessness to protect him and opted to quit instead.

Yeddyurappa denied that any action was being contemplated against the officer in question. The investigation into the disappearance of the iron ore was on and the Government would act against the guilty.

He also denied the charge that the Government had not cooperated with Lokayukta. In the midst of an austerity drive, Yeddyurappa said, he had agreed to provide 292 additional personnel to the office of Lokayukta and a 15% increment to its police.

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