Karnataka Lokayukta Shivaraj V. Patil resigned on Monday in the wake of a media exposé that showed irregularities in the allotment of two residential plots to him and his wife.
In a written statement that he read out at a crowded press conference here, Mr. Patil termed the exposé a “malicious campaign” and said that he was “deeply hurt and pained.”
“In this uncongenial atmosphere I have deemed it appropriate to submit my resignation.
“My only discomforting thought is, am I giving up this office yielding to the malicious campaign of a few and letting down the hopes of many who had reposed their faith in me?
“I would request all to honestly reflect and decide whether they want to fight against corruption or malign the people who take up the fight against corruption,” he said.
Continuing to maintain that there was no irregularity in the allotment of the housing society plots, he said, “I would like to conclude by cautioning the media that persons who have spent their lifetime with integrity and built a reputation cannot take such a malicious campaign without deep hurt. Consequently, my fear is it will deter honest people from taking up such assignments, which would become a great disservice to the fight against corruption.”
Referring to the allotment of the 9,600 sq.ft. plot at the Judicial Employees House Building Cooperative Society layout, he said, “This allotment in favour of judges was challenged in a writ petition before the High Court of Karnataka, and the petition was dismissed.” The Supreme Court too dismissed the case, he said.
On the allotment of the other site to his wife by the Vyalikaval housing society, he said that an outright sale deed was executed in his wife's favour after she was made an “associate member.”
“It is also necessary to note that she did not file any affidavit making any false declaration at any point; hence there has never been any misrepresentation. Sale being on outright basis, there was absolutely no restriction for the purchase. All the purchases have been through legitimate funds generated and are accounted for.
“Despite having no justification, an issue was sought to be raised in this regard. Taking into account the position I held, to avoid a public debate, which would detract from my functioning and my moral authority to deal with men and matters, I asked my wife to surrender the site forthwith, without getting into the legality of it. Accordingly, she addressed a letter to the society on September 14 to surrender the site registered in her name. Shockingly, instead of treating surrender of the site as a step in the right direction, it was treated and campaigned as if it is an acceptance of a mistake and a grave crime had been committed.”