Bangalore: Karnataka’s new Lokayukata (ombudsman) Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Wednesday said he would study the investigation report into the multi-crore mining scam before admitting the petition of former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa challenging its recommendation to prosecute him for alleged graft.
“As I assumed office only today (Wednesday), I need some time to study the voluminous report and its recommendations to act on Yeddyurappa’s petition,” Patil told reporters after he was administered oath of office by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj at Raj Bhavan earlier in the day.
The final probe report was prepared by Patil’s predecessor Justice N. Santosh Hegde and submitted to the state government July 27 with a copy to the governor, who is the competent authority to sanction prosecution of a chief minister under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1994.
Yeddyurappa Tuesday petitioned the ombudsman on Hegde’s last day in office to reconsider his recommendation on the premise that his indictment was contrary to the Lokayukta Act and that there were errors in the probe report.
Patil also said he did not receive the governor’s letter sanctioning Yeddyurappa’s prosecution on the basis of the recommendation made by Hegde.
“The governor’s letter has not been placed before met yet as it was only issued earlier in the day and I came to office to take charge late afternoon. I will be able to act upon it only after studying the report along with annexures and recommendations,” Patil pointed out.
“The governor recommended the Karnataka Lokayukta to initiate criminal proceedings against Yeddyurappa under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on the basis of the ombudsman’s investigation report on illegal mining activities,” a communiqué from Raj Bhavan said.
Noting that the anti-corruption institution needed more powers to suo motto actions against even corrupt ministers and politicians, the former Supreme Court judge said he would not tolerate graft at any level in the state.
“I would like to send a strong message through the media to the people of the state that corruption will not be tolerated at any level in the state. Stringent action will be taken against those indulging in corrupt activities,” Patil asserted.