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Karnataka governor promises bill to fix allegedly corrupt anti-corruption Lokayukta

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Monday gave consent to the state Lokayukta Amendment Bill 2015, paving the way for the removal of a ‘tainted’ ombudsman through lawmakers and judicial probe.

“The Karnataka Lokayukta amendment bill has been enacted into law with the governor’s consent and the amended Act comes into force,” state Law Minister TB Jayachandra told reporters in Bangalore.

The amendment will enable one-third lawmakers of either house of the state legislature to move a notice to the assembly speaker and council chairman seeking removal of the Lokayukta if found guilty of misconduct or incapacity.

The state legislature passed the amendment bill on July 31 after lawmakers cutting across party lines demanded removal of Lokayukta Justice V Bhaskar Rao for the alleged involvement of his son V Ashwin Rao in bribery and graft case in complicity with some unidentified officials of the watchdog.

“Section six of the amendment Act enables the legislature to pass a motion for the Lokayukta’s removal with two-third majority if the ombudsman is found guilty of misconduct or incapacity by the Karnataka high court chief justice or a nominated judge,” Jayachandra said, citing its new provisions.

A Special Investigation Team, set up on June 30 by the state government to probe the bribery and corruption charges against Ashwin and some Lokayukta officials, arrested Ashwin in Hyderabad on July 27, Lokayukta joint commissioner Syed Riaz on July 26 and their three accomplices in the third week of July in the city.

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