Lokayukta resigns over site allotment controversy

Shortly after tendering his resignation, Justice Shivraj Patil told media persons that he is the victim of a malicious campaign; has now asked that the people judge him on the issue

Lokayukta Justice V Shivraj Patil, apparently mired in a site allotment controversy, tendered resignation to the Governor yesterday.

Shortly after, Patil briefed media persons in an attempt to clarify to the public that a malicious campaign has been launched against him and he has even asked that the people themselves judge him on the site allotment issue.

Lokayukta Justice Patil tendered his resignation yesterday

Patil said that the development has caused him deep pain and the uncongenial atmosphere deemed it appropriate to submit his resignation.

He said, "Am I giving up this office yielding to malicious campaign of a few people and letting down the hopes of many?"

He requested all concerned to decide whether they want to fight against corruption or malign the people who take up the fight against the corrupt.

He said that in 1982 when he was a practicing lawyer at the High Court of Karnataka, he purchased a small site at Vasanth Nagar from a private individual and constructed his residence.
In 1994, while he was a Judge of the HC, the Karnataka Judicial Employees House Building Co-operative Society allotted him a site in the Judicial Layout.

This was challenged in the HC and dismissed, following which another petition questioning the dismissal was filed in the Supreme Court and the dismissal was upheld.

Controversial site
Patil added that after his retirement as SC Judge, his wife purchased a site a Nagavara Layout formed by Vyyalikaval Housing Board Co-operative society under a registered sale deed.

His brother-in-law Shivraj, who is member of the society, had paid a certain amount towards allotment of a site in 1982.

Even after 20 years, the society, which defaulted on repaying loans taken from various banks, has not allotted sites.

This resulted in all 2,700 members seeking refunds. Following the complaints, the authorities decided to attach the property, after which the members approached the government seeking permission to sell their sites on an outright basis to facilitate repayment of bank loans and to get refunds.

Sold outright!
However, by the time the sites were offered on outright sale, Shivraj had invested in an apartment and transferred his membership to Ms Patil making her associate member, following which an outright sale deed was executed in her favour.

The Lokayukta Justice further clarified that he did not file any affidavit making a false declaration at any point in time, nor was there any misrepresentation as alleged.

He added, "On assuming office, I voluntarily declared my assets and despite having no jurisdiction, the issue has been raked up.
In order to avoid public debate, which would detract me to function with moral authority, I asked my wife to surrender the site, which she did on September 14, 2011."
Patil told the media, "I would like to caution the media that persons, who have spent their lifetime with integrity and built a reputation cannot take such malicious campaign without deep hurt.
My fear is that this would deter honest people from taking up such assignments, which would become a great disservice to fight against corruption."

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