Karnataka Lokayukta is the ombudsman institution of the Indian state of Karnataka. It was established in 1984 to investigate and report on corruption in the Government of Karnataka and to redress public grievances related to state government employees. This Lokayukta is considered as the strongest Lokayukta in the country.
In 1966, a report by the Administrative Reforms Commission recommended the setting up of Lokpal at the federal level and Lokayukta in the states, for the redressal of citizen's grievances. Therefore, Maharashtra established its Lokayukta in 1971. Ramakrishna Hegde, then Chief Minister of Karnataka introduced Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta bill in the assembly as their 1983 election promise. It came into force through The Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984. Then, Mysore State Vigilance Commission which formed in 1965 to investigate corruption cases in the state was abolished. The pending cases before the commission was transferred to the newly formed Lokayukta.
Appointment and powers
As per the Lokayukta act, Lokayukta means the person appointed as the Lokayukta (i.e. the institution and the head of the institution have the same name), who either held the office of a Judge of the Supreme Court of India or that of the Chief Justice of a High Court in any states of India.After the amendent to the Lokayukta act in 2015 any peron who has held the post of judge of the High court for a period of 10 years can be appointed as Lokayukta and 5 years in case of upa lokayukta. The Lokayukta appointed by the Governor of Karnataka on advice of Chief Minister of Karnataka in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council, the Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Council and the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The Lokayukta has the power to investigate Chief Minister, all other Ministers and Members of the State Legislature and all state government employees.
The term of office of the Lokayukta is five years and former Lokayuktas listed below:
|Name of the Lokayukta||In office|
|Santosh Hegde||2006 – June 2010|
|Shivaraj Patil||July 2011 – September 2011|
|Y Bhaskar Rao||February 2013 – December 2015 (resigned)|
The last Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao resigned in December 2015 to avoid removal on charges of corruption. In 2016, the Karnataka government has setup Anti Corruption Bureau in place of Lokayukta
In 2011, Santosh Hegde submitted a report on illegal mining in the state which reported loss of Rs 160.85 billion to the state. This report exposed the biggest mining scam in India. This report led to the resignation of B. S. Yeddyurappa, then Chief Minister of Karnataka, from the post.
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