Earlier, Rao remained deaf to growing calls for his exit
Bengaluru : Corruption has claimed a strange culprit — the anti-corruption chief himself. After having painted himself to a corner and forced to face an unceremonious dismissal, controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao has resigned over an alleged extortion racket engineered by his son.
For months, Rao resisted growing calls for stepping down as there was no provision to impeach him. He went on long leave of over four months even as complaints started mounting in his office. But as legislators moved in to discuss his misdemeanour in the Assembly, Rao quietly sent in his resignation on Monday night to Governor Vajubhai R Vala.
“Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka is pleased to accept the resignation of Dr Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao as Lokayukta of Karnataka State with immediate effect,” a Raj Bhavan communique said today.
Rao’s son, Ashwin Rao, who ran a multi-crore extortion racket from the office of the Lokayukta, is under the custody of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted in connection with the case.
Rao was forced to put in his papers after having realised that a motion moved by the BJP and JDS and also supported by the ruling Congress seeking his removal was pending before the Karnataka Assembly, with the Speaker Kagodu Thimappa considering it before referring the issue to the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice to take the process forward.
The scandal surfaced after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote a letter to the Registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta about the complaint she received from a person who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs 1 crore in bribe to avoid a raid.
The SIT has so far arrested 11 persons, including Ashwin Rao, and registered five cases in connection with the alleged racket. In another development, a motion seeking removal of Upa Lokayukta Subhash Adi, moved by the Congress but not supported by the BJP and JDS, is also before the Assembly.
In their petition against Adi, the ruling party members have accused him of “misuse of office, misconduct and inefficiency”. The Opposition maintains there are no specific charges against Adi and the move against him is an attempt to shut down the Lokayukta institution itself.
The Assembly Speaker has, however, said that he is not convinced with the evidence produced that alleged Adi had shown favouritism and exceeded his jurisdiction.
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