Primacy of Views I: The Karnataka Lokayukta Act

Justice Chandrashekaraiah (Retd.) v. Janekere C. Krishna, (2013) 3 SCC 117 held, views expressed by Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka have no ‘primacy’ in process of appointment of Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta by Governor of Karnataka.

High Court was of view, since Order passed by Governor of Karnataka, appointing Justice Chandrashekaraiah as an Upa Lokayukta, was without consulting Chief Justice of High Court – same was illegal. While appointment of Justice Chandrashekaraiah (Retd.) was indeed set aside – Hon’ble Justice Radhakrishnan was quick to point out, though a ‘consultation’ was necessary amongst 5 dignitaries, language of Section 3 of The Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984 was plain and unambiguous enough to be interpreted to mean, Chief Justice of High Court is only one ‘consultee’ and his views have no ‘primacy’.

That otherwise, in words of Hon’ble Justice Lokur, recorded separately, consultation with other constitutional authorities would be reduced to a farce. After all, “it must be appreciated, these constitutional authorities also have an equal say in Executive governance of State and there is nothing to suggest, their opinion should be subordinated to opinion of Chief Justice or Chief Justice can vet other views.”