Bengaluru: Legislators fail to submit details of assets before deadline

Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Jul 15: As many as 90 legislators of the Karnataka Assembly have failed to meet the June 30th deadline set by the Lokayukta Act, which directs them to file their annual statements of assets and liabilities. While some are still filing their statements, the Lokayukta is forced to accept as the Act has not fixed any time frame on when the report has to be submitted to the governor.

On the other hand, two MLAs and six MLCs have skipped filing their statements in the last two years. Among the MLCs, D U Mallikarjuna and Chowda Reddy Thupalli have failed to submit their statements for consecutively two years (2014-15 and 2015-16).

MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar (Hungund) and MLC Basavaraj Patil failed to file their statements in 2014-15 and MLA K Shivamurthy (Mayakonda) and MLC Kantaraju failed to do the same in 2015-16.

Even though Lokayukta has repeatedly sent reminders, their powers are limited to sending a report to the governor and after two months, publishing the names of the legislators who failed to submit the statements.

A source from Lokayukta states that the legislators are taking the deadline leniently as the Act does not stipulate the time frame on when the Lokayukta is supposed to submit a report to the Governor. This year, even the government has failed to send the list of ministers after the Cabinet reshuffle, he adds.

Meanwhile, Former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde asserts that strict action should be taken against those legislators who fail to file their assets. Cases should be filed against them under IPC Section 176 (Omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it.

He explains that during his tenure, cases were registered against two such legislators. As public servants, the legislators are bound to give information and if convicted under the IPC, may end up in prison for one month, he informs.