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Updated: September 19, 2011 03:06 IST

I was not the only judge to be allotted house site, says Karnataka Lokayukta

Sudipto Mondal
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Karnataka Lokayukta Shivaraj V. Patil.
The Hindu
Karnataka Lokayukta Shivaraj V. Patil.

Barely a month after being appointed Karnataka's anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokayukta Shivaraj V. Patil finds himself embroiled in allegations of impropriety in acquiring valuable sites in Bangalore.

He was allotted a 9,600-sq.ft. plot at Allasandra in the Karnataka State Judicial Department Employees' House Building Cooperative Society in September 1994 and his wife was allotted a 4,012-sq.ft. plot at Nagawara in the Vyalikaval House Building Cooperative Society in October 2006.

Documents available with The Hindu show that Mr. Patil was not eligible for the allotment of the Allasandra site on several counts. In response, Mr. Patil told The Hindu that he was not the only judge to be allotted the plots by this society.

“Almost all the judges of the High Court and the Supreme Court [from Karnataka] were given sites similarly,” he said.

Mr. Patil's ineligibility for the allotment arises from the following facts. First, he had already purchased a 2,400-sq.ft. plot at Vasanthnagar in 1982, which automatically disqualified him (and his family) for allotment of a site in any house building cooperative society (HBCS). (Allotment prices for members are generally at very concessional rates.)

Conceding that every member of a housing cooperative society is required to file an affidavit stating that he or she does not own any other residential property, Mr. Patil said, “But in the case of judges, we were not required to file any affidavit. Neither were we asked nor did we give an affidavit. I did not file any affidavit for the Nagawara site also.”

Section 10 (b) of the bylaws of the Judicial Employees Society states that the allottee must be “an employee of the judicial department” and should have “put in a minimum continuous or intermittent service of five years in Karnataka.”

Extreme as it may seem, this legal requirement would disqualify all High Court judges from acquiring plots. Judges of the High Court are strictly not “employees” of the judicial department, which is a fundamental prerequisite for their eligibility. They draw their salaries directly from the Consolidated Fund of India and hold constitutional posts. Asked about this, Mr. Patil said that a 1995 High Court judgment had settled the matter in favour of the judges.

In fact, Mr. Patil's name was listed 13th among 84 judges of the High Court and the Supreme Court, whose allotments in the Judicial Employees' layout were found to be in violation of its bylaws, in a report submitted by the Joint Legislature Committee headed by A.T. Ramaswamy in July 2007.

Significantly, house building cooperatives, by their very definition, are meant to provide cost-effective housing to those who cannot afford to buy plots/houses at market-determined rates. In fact, the Supreme Court, in a ruling of November 15, 2010, observed that house building cooperative societies are meant for “the poor and needy.”

Significantly, in his declaration of assets on the Lokayukta website, Mr. Patil lists these two plots, but fails to mention that they are part of house building cooperative societies and provides incomplete addresses.

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When Mr.Patil has already got a plot measuring 9600sq.feet at Allasandra, where is the need for him to get one more house site that too in the name of his wife? Why he failed to get this plot allotted in his own name? Because he is not eligible to get this plot in his name as he has got a plot in his name already?

from:  S.Sahiram
Posted on: Sep 20, 2011 at 10:35 IST

If as complained by Patil there are many judges of HighCourt and SC from K'taka he could hv named also some of the judges.Why he is withholding that?To that extent the judges of Madras High Court also to be put under scanner as Karunanidhi has allotted many flats in Housing societries.Will that come to light or all will vanish.Already the Judiciary has eraned the reputation of containing very corrupt judges like Balakrishnan,Dinakaran etc.Then how can one believe even in judicial verdicts as judges have become purchaseable commodities like politicians?AAM AADMAI has no clue.

from:  A G Raman
Posted on: Sep 20, 2011 at 01:19 IST

Anti Corruption Campaign was sucess not because of Annaji. It was because of the corrupt politicians. Before the general public loose faith in the Judiciary let the C J take action to publish the list of all the 84 judges and ask them to return the plots allotted.

from:  S Venkata Subramanian
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 23:22 IST

How many sites a man requires. Sites measuring 9600 sq.ft. and 4012sq.ft. are they for dwelling purpose or for the purpose of business. A man who holds the post of Judge is so greedy. What about the position of politicians and their henchmen. There is no end for it until an individual realize and correct himself.

from:  Jayavelu.N
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 17:37 IST

Judge Patil says almost all the judges of the High Court and the Supreme Court [from Karnataka] were given sites similarly. Sudipto Mondal should make a comprehensive investigation.

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 10:19 IST

A good expose, many people are waiting for sites in Bangalore, people not only present lokayuktha, there politicians, MPs MLAs,IAS officers and many publis also holding number of sites in individual names and their kit and kins also In Benami names. The present situation is good, Lokayuktha need not resign, let him get all Vaccant sites details from BBMP, verify completly, those who have violated the norms better cancel the sites. The Govt.Policy is one child for one family how you want more sites, it is only to earn money at later stage,Better gOvt. should create one real estate department and a seperate ministry for the purpose.

from:  keerthikumar
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 09:59 IST

These instances reminds me of Supreme court statement in 1990 "Only God can save India" and in 2007 "Even god cannot save India"....

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 09:35 IST

Caesar's wife must be above suspicion. Patil should immediately resign and make way for a decent, honest and conscientious person if we can find one.Justice Santhosh Hegde is as old as Patil. Why not bring him back to finish the job that he started?

from:  S.R. Nair
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 08:12 IST

Mr. shivaraj Patil should offer his resignation because of flouting rules and regulations either knowingly or unknowingly. Further, he should pay the market price of the lands he has acquired illegally or the land be forfeited and given to some deserving persons like ex-defence persons, who have sacrificed lives for our country. How can a retired judge say that he did not make an affidavit and nobody asked for it? Is it a justification for flouting rules - that too by an experienced ex-judge of supreme court.Other Other judges either present or ex, should be dealt with severely. But who will deal with such judges in the prevailing circunstances in our country?

from:  D. K. Misra
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 06:58 IST

This Lokayukta Ombudsman deserves not to uphold the high office of position and decline without making any excuses. Recommendations to this position should also be probed and how many cases this Patil had helped them to show favour in matters referred to Court. While the family members of Patil and Children's assets/wealth should also be scrutinized. Most wealth created by such hierarchy persons conceal using the relatives and children names to be safe. The President of India must denounce this position and elect a sincere person who can save this Country

from:  Jayaraj
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 05:55 IST

My dad once said that there were days when judges held high ethical and moral standards and were of impeccable integrity; gone are those beautiful days. Deep pain I felt after hearing that.

from:  Kanishk
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 05:28 IST

Being an ombudsman, we all expect that he will set an example of honesty and lawfulness in the system. Lo and behold, who have we got here? An example of how exactly an ombudsman should not think or act. A rotten judge. If his previous judgements are put to scrutiny, perhaps the pandoras box will open. Is the supreme court taking any notice of him at all? Or are some of them too beneficiaries of the plot allotments? God save India!

from:  dks
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 00:17 IST

The law is equal and applies to all.

from:  Sesha Reddy
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 21:01 IST

Hon'ble Justice Patil

You are occupying a very important position. What ever may be the justification you provide now, it is a settled matter that you/your family is not entitled to hold 2 sites in Blore when thousands of applicants are waiting for over 15 years making unsuccessful attempts to get the coveted BDA site.
In the interest of all you must relinquish your position and surrender one of the sites.
Otherwise no one will believe you will do justice for the coveted job.
Please my LORD do justice to the position you have held and are holding now.

from:  V S Rao
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 20:59 IST

Shivaraj Patil investigated something about 2G Scam while he failed to look what's on his back. Now its all the more very very clear to all and sundry that judiciary should be brought under Jan Lokpal without wasting anymore time, that Jan Lokpal should be the only authority investigating corruption.

from:  xavier surender
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 16:21 IST

The news that, out of the more than 16,000 sq.ft. of land in possession of Karnataka's Lokayukta Shivraj V.Patil in Bangaluru city, more than 13,500 sq.ft. was acquired by the anti-corruption ombudsman against rules and at 'very concessional rates', gives really horrible reading. His justification that he "was not the only judge but almost all judges of the High Court were given sites similarly" is ridiculous, particularly when it is read with the report of the Legislature Committee that found the allotments to 84 judges including Mr.Patil in the Judicial Employees lay-out violate the bye-laws. The very meaning and purpose of house building co-operatives are undermined. The suppression of facts and providing incomplete information in Mr.Patil's website, in a way, points to the mis-directed anti-corruption establishments in our country.

from:  P.R.V.Raja
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 14:42 IST

This article provides a real toast to the people questioning the authenticity of the instituition of lokpal amd lokayukta.If these were given the responsibility to nab corruption who will grab their collars for the similar acts of disregards to the position they hold? It seems to be an eyeopener and gives serious concerns about the future of institutions like cvc and lokpal.power corrupts and absolute power coruupts absolutely...

from:  Priyanka
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 12:55 IST

Shri Iyer: Did you read the same article as the rest of us? "Conceding that every member of a housing cooperative society is required to file an affidavit stating that he or she does not own any other residential property, Mr. Patil said, “But in the case of judges, we were not required to file any affidavit. Neither were we asked nor did we give an affidavit. I did not file any affidavit for the Nagawara site also.” "
Did you miss this part where (according to Shri Patil) officials systematically bent the rules to benefit judges, and that too in such a way as to limit their legal risk? Although affidavit is required under law, neither shri Patil, nor any other judge was asked to submit one. Do you really think that no culpability accrues to shri Patil in such a systematic violation of rules?

from:  NGS
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 12:27 IST

Annaji, how will your Janlokpal bill will handle cases like?

from:  mani Sandilya
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 11:44 IST

It is very saddening the way the Lokayuktha justifies ...many judges have already got that..
Will he then not report if some corrupted officials say many other officer have already done it?
Again why at all he needs so many plots @ concessional rates that too when he has already owns sufficient land?
Should he not be simpler
Should Ceasr's wife be beyond doubt?

Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 10:51 IST

In our country we generally find that the social bodies like the House Building Societies are required to have by-laws which are theoretically correct and well meaning. But, invariably these by-laws are flouted / allowed to be flouted by those who are in position of authority.

from:  B.Vaidyanathan
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 10:50 IST

This is an extremely depressing situation.The least that he can do is to demit office quietly instead of putting up a defence that invites ridicule.

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 10:47 IST

Practise what you Preach. You must be an example to others. But this puts Lokayukta in a very embarassing situation. Now giving back the site etc the clean up act because you were exposed is not a good sign for the Lokayukta.

from:  Mathew
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 10:06 IST

Though the allotment of the PLOTS to Mr. Patil may be technically improper, We can not hold him responsible for a Judicial impropriety. We need to see the motive. In this case, It should be shown that Mr. Patil tried to obtain a plot by deliberately "furnishing a false information" or "suppressing an information" in order to nullify the DISQUALIFICATION CONDITIONS. The most appropriate in this instance would be to ask the Honourable Judge to return the PLOTS rather than casting aspersions.

from:  Iyer
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 09:55 IST

As the head of Lokayukta, that too in a state where the previous Lokaukta head had done an impeccable job, it is only fit and proper for Sri Patil to vacate the post and honour the institution, even if it is quite possible that he is clean and upright. The head of Lokayukta should be completely above suspicion ever and under the current situation in particular, all the more in Karnataka. I wish we dont see another 'previous-CVC' type mess.

from:  Ramaswamy.A
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 09:42 IST

This is the extent of rot in our government and judiciary. How can you respect any of the bodies? One can only laugh at the justification offered in this case "i am not the only one, others are involved as well". Sounds like he is learning from our good friend Yeddiruppa. We know bulk of our public figures are corrupt - so we should soon have a case law permitting such crimes - stating precedence.

from:  Shekhar
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 09:37 IST

People who do not have faith in their progeny will only amass too much wealth by resorting to all sorts.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 09:21 IST

Honesty too is a relative term! In the secular context, it merely means the incumbent doesn't have property/money in Switzerland, Cayman islands etc..

from:  Rajan Shete
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 09:01 IST

Quite shameless. And this is the guy who will monitor other corrupt people? Gimme a break! What is the guarantee that this Lokayukta won't use his position to add to his already considerable wealth/assets?

from:  Sinchan Mitra
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 08:50 IST

What a statement! Its not only me who got the house site! Its not only me who is corrupt! A Murderer may say to a Judge 'Its not only me who murdered" and with that statement this judge will pardon him. So many politicians still think that all Indians are stupid and they always buy any stupid story if sold through corrupt media.

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 08:25 IST

Everyone seems to be involved in some form of Land deals - including such exalted personalities as judges, top defence personnel and of course the crore-pati politicians. It is reported that Mr Shanti Bhushan or his son of Civil Society and LokPal Bill fame was alloted a huge farm house in Noida by Mayawati - ofcourse the price was a pittance - wonder what Ms Mayawati wanted from Mr Bhushan. There have been allegations against a retired Supreme Court Chief Justice, and now against the newly appointed LokAyukta of Karnataka ...... Justice for all except for the self !!!

from:  Pradeep k
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 08:18 IST

Patil's argument is like a kid's answer when caught stealing candies from a shop. "It is just not me, my entire gang and friends were with me." Wonder how he anymore can be referred to as a judge? The term 'judge' implies 'justice'. Patil should know that his defense is not defense, but admission to guilt, in his case, corruption.

from:  Bijo Francis
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 08:14 IST

What a defence to contend that "I am not the only judge to be allotted plots". What will the Lokayukta do if a corrupt Minister or public servant appears before him and asserts that he is not the only one to be corrupt.

from:  R.M. Devan
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 07:50 IST

Leave all other things , rules ,regulations, etc etc, what about moral grounds and not disclosing the things correctly,properly ,whether the society asked or not, and in the web site . This is to be taken over by GOVT and sold it to Public by auction and the money is to be credited to the Govt account so that some defect will come down in the budget. It is not with Karnatak but with all states and their housing boards There is no transparency. Before finalizing, all things should be published in the News papers , who and who applied and so that public will have a say .

from:  Bala
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 07:34 IST

WHAT TO DO . This is the pitiable situation in our country . To find any authoritative person free from corruption is very difficult .Again to say the other judges also allotted house sites from the same society does not mean that his fault will vanish .Being a judge he should know this.But that is our way of explanation in our country .If any one is caught on any fault , he will quote the example of another person in authority or politics , who is more corrupt or more at fault than him. Anyhow let us wait whether any action will be taken on this.

from:  Kailasam
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 07:20 IST

Only persons of impeccable integrity are considered eligible for certain posts, like CVC. Lokayukta is undoubtedly one such. How can anyone justify his wrongdoing by citing other wrongdoers? If this argument is acceptable, then you cannot prosecute anyone for a crime.

from:  S. Dorai Raj
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 06:55 IST

This Patil by his cheap remarks that he was not the only judge to be allotted House Sites is shamelessly attempting to inculpate fellow judges who may or may not have accepted the allotment.That however does not mitigate the offense with which he is charged or should I say the offense he is alleged to have committed.This is like a thief,when caught, justifying his action by saying that his friend who had slipped away silently,should also be caught and taken to the cop shop. And to think that he has been a high court judge!He has brought disrepute to the whole fraternity of judges.Does he deserve to continue? The President should not only sack him forthwith but ensure that all his terminal benefits are withdrawn and his entire assets and those of his closest relations including his wife and children be forfeited to the state.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 06:07 IST

Oh God! In Bharath everyone looks honest till he is probed! Alas, even hunderds of Lokpal cannot save us!

from:  T K Parthasarathy
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 05:58 IST

After reading Mr.Sudipto Mondal's article on this Lokayukta,it is not only laughable and farcical that Patil says that corruption will not be tolerated at any level but also that he will act on the illegal mining report.Man,one must admire the gall and temerity of this man who is least qualified and not at all competent to utter these homilies.Ludicrous to the extreme.It is to be hoped that the Supreme Court takes note of this man's brazenness and arrogance.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 05:55 IST

One hand cannot clap. If Mr Patil were totally clean, no-one could have made such allegations against him. Within weeks of Mr Hegde's exit, the office of the Lokayukta is mired in controversy. Really the paucity of truly honest officials is worrying in India

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 05:39 IST

A person who defends his case by saying that he is not the only person who benefited wrongly is unfit to be the Lokayukta. He should resign or failing to do so must be sacked.

from:  Dr. S .Srinivasan
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 04:28 IST

This piece written by Mr.Sudipto Mondal is a real shocker.The way that Patil tries to defend the indefensible shows how judges have been twisting laws, rules, regulations suit their requirement and derive illegal benefits. Before the "AAM AADMI'loses all his faith in our judges,judiciary and justice system,it is imperative that the CJ of the Supreme Court orders an immediate inquiry into the affairs of all the judges in the country including the SC judges to determine how and how many and how much benefits each judge has derived by misusing his/her position and initiate appropriat proceedings including requesting Parliament to start impeachment proceedings immediately,if necessary by having special sessions and sittings of the SC too.This incident should be an eye opener to the CJ about the utter immorality of some of his colleagues.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 04:15 IST

Where can you go....the guardian is the looter! This man is greedy and he is justifying his deeds by giving lame excuses...If he can do this, on what basis he can convict corrupt politicians?

from:  Sreee
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 04:01 IST

Good job. Shri Sudipto Mondal! This man, the subject of your investigative report titled, "I was not the only judge to be allotted house site, says Karnataka Lokayukta", a retired Judge at that, is not a good man. Saying other are also guilty does not make one honest. Besides he is lying through the teeth and has been doing so for ages! Yet he gets appointed as a Lok Yukta. The system is said to work if (a) the man resigns and (b) action is taken immediately to bring him to book, tried and punished if found guilty like any body else. No one is above the law. If one or more these basic requirements are not met and this person and others like him in the same situation go free, or worse yet continue in their present posts, only God can save the county. How is it every thing about Karnataka stinks to high heavens, not just the proverbial politicians, in this state?

from:  Madan
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 03:51 IST

I did not know that judges have special laws and rights. They are poor and needy as well. Mr. Patil what's the difference between you and Mr. Yedyurappa or any other politician? You are as greedy as anybody else. I think you should consider leaving the position to a more sincere, honest, clean and conscientious person.

from:  Samanya Jana
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 03:03 IST

Another instance of a serious impairment of integrity in those having held high positions in the judiciary. The least he should do is to resign as Lokayukta and surrender the plots allotted to him and his spouse in violation of the bye laws of the Judicial Employees Society to restore the credibility of the office held by him.Since he has said that almost all judges of the High Court and Supreme Court from Karnataka were given sites similarly, the concerned allottees have to take necessary corrective action volunatarily, immediately.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 02:07 IST

nobody will correct oneself unless someone forcefully make them understand and take some action. The world is greedy and corrupt; Lok Ayukta is no exception. He needs to be and should be taught a lesson.

from:  velumani
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 01:19 IST
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