H. R. Bhardwaj

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Hansraj Bhardwaj)
Jump to: navigation, search
H. R. Bhardwaj
16th Governor of Karnataka
In office
25 June 2009 – 28 June 2014
Preceded by Rameshwar Thakur
Succeeded by Konijeti Rosaiah
20th Governor of Kerala
In office
1 March 2012 – 9 March 2013
Preceded by M. O. H. Farook
Succeeded by Nikhil Kumar
Minister of Law and Justice
In office
22 May 2004 – 28 May 2009
Preceded by Arun Jaitley
Succeeded by Veerappa Moily
Personal details
Born (1937-05-17) 17 May 1937 (age 77)
Political party Indian National Congress
Religion Hinduism

Hansraj Bhardwaj (born 17 May 1937) is an Indian politician who was Governor of Karnataka since 2009; he has also been Governor of Kerala from 2012 until 2013. He is a member of the Indian National Congress. He holds the record of having the second longest tenure in Law Ministry since independence, after Ashoke Kumar Sen. He was the minister of state for nine years and a cabinet minister for law and justice for five years.Former Chief Minister of Erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Konijeti Rosaiah has replaced Bharadwaj as Governor of Karnataka [1]

On 16 January 2012, he was given the additional charge of Governor of Kerala,[2] which he abandoned on 9 March 2013.

Political career[edit]

Bhardwaj was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1982. He served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice from 31 December 1984 to November 1989 and was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1988. He was then Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation from 21 June 1991 to 2 July 1992 and Minister of State in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs from 3 July 1992 to May 1996. He was again re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1994 and April 2000, and from 22 May 2004 to 28 May 2009 he served as Union Cabinet Minister of Law and Justice.

Having previously represented Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha, Bhardwaj was instead elected to the Rajya[3] Sabha from Haryana on 20 March 2006, without opposition.[4]

Political deftness[edit]

Bhardwaj introduced the concept of rural courts (gram nyayalayas) during the UPA-I government.

A media shy minister, the old Gandhi family loyalist handled the most sensitive and controversial cases in the Manmohan Singh cabinet between 2004 and 2009.

From Bofors to office of profit and the failed attempt to remove Navin Chawla as election commissioner, were all deftly handled by the Congress veteran to the satisfaction of the Prime Minister and party leadership

Controversies[edit]

Bofors scandal[edit]

In March 2009, H. R. BharadwaJ was criticized for taking the initiative to de-freeze two bank accounts of Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors Scam case. In particular, it appears he did not consult the investigating agency CBI which had gotten the accounts frozen.[5]

As Governor of Karnataka[edit]

In July 2010, his comments on the powerful Bellary brothers, ministers in the B.S. Yeddyurappa government, particularly demanding their sacking for their alleged involvement in illegal mining generated a national debate. This was preceded by Bhardwaj rejecting the resignation of Lokayukta, Justice Hegde.

Bharadwaj also received lots of flak from public and media for his unceremonious, scathing personal attack on Mysore university vice-chancellor V G Talawar when the latter was initiating action against former vice-chancellor J Shashidhar Prasad. Prasad is accused of committing irregularities in the recruitment of around 200 professors and readers during his tenure between 2003 and 2007 which are yet to be proved.

On 21 January 2011, Governor Bhardwaj sanctioned the prosecution of Chief Minister of Karnataka (Yeddyurappa) under Prevention of Corruption Act, following several allegations of his involvement in land scams and seizure of trucks carrying illegally mined iron ore.[6] However, on 7 March Karnataka High Court quashed this decision and the Lokayukta Police FIR. The court observed, "The petitioner was condemned unheard and there is flagrant violation of principles of natural justice, fairness in administrative action and statutory provision".[7] On 7 February 2011, Bharadwaj withheld the approval of honorary doctorate by the Bangalore University to noted historian and Kannada writer M. Chidananda Murthy. Chidananda Murthy had backed justice BK Somasekhara Commission’s report on church attacks in Karnataka in 2008. Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana 2011, held in Bangalore, adopted a resolution to “condemn” the Governor's decision. Taking note of this, Bharadwaj agreed to give his approval after recommendations from bangalore university syndicates.[8]

In May 2011, Bhardwaj recommended President's rule in Karnataka after the ruling government lost support in parliament due to the level of charges levied against it and was forced to prove majority, having a very narrow win.

Trivia[edit]

Speaking at an Editors' Guild seminar, Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express, narrated an incident involving Arun Shourie and Bharadwaj. During discussions that followed Rajiv Gandhi's Defamation Bill, Bharadwaj had asked Shourie to be more respectful in speaking since Bharadwaj had practiced law in Shourie's father's court in Rohtak. In response Shourie said "This much law should be known even to a mofussil lawyer like you".

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Arun Jaitley
Minister of Law and Justice
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Veerappa Moily
Preceded by
Rameshwar Thakur
Governor of Karnataka
2009 – 2014
Succeeded by
Konijeti Rosaiah