Former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Venkatachala passes away

A file photo of former Lokayukta of Karnataka N. Venkatachala with cash recovered following raids on three government officials in Bengaluru.  

N. Venkatachala, former judge of the Supreme Court and former Lokayukta of Karnataka, died here on Wednesday morning. He was 89.

He had an accidental fall after getting up around 6 a.m. According to a statement from Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, he was brought in an unresponsive state. “Despite all resuscitative measures, he remained unresponsive. He was declared dead at 7 a.m.,” said the statement issued by hospital president Naresh Shetty.

Mr. Venkatachala was known for bringing to light the existence of Karnataka’s autonomous anti-corruption wing as the Lokayukta by conducting raids on public servants and disclosing their names and particulars of seized assets, besides allowing the media to show video footage of his raids on public institutions such as hospitals on complaints related to poor public service.

Born on July 3, 1930, at Mittur village in Mulbagal taluk of Kolar district in a farming family, he obtained his B.Sc. degree and B.L. degree from Mysore University. He enrolled as an advocate in the then High Court of Mysore (now Karnataka) on November 16, 1955, and practised law in the High Court and its subordinate courts at Bengaluru in civil, criminal and constitutional matters.

He was a part-time Reader in Mercantile Law from 1958 to 1970 besides being a Legal Adviser to the University of Agricultural Sciences, Hebbal, from 1963 to 1973 and to Bangalore University from 1970 to 1973. He was the High Court’s government pleader from 1968 to 1973 and High Court’s government advocate from 1973 to 1977.

Mr. Venkatachala was appointed as Additional Judge of the High Court on November 28, 1977, and made a Permanent Judge on September 8, 1978. He also functioned as the head of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, during 1990. He was appointed the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court in May 1992. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on July 1, 1992, and retired in July 1995. He was Lokayukta from July 3, 2001, to July 2, 2006.

His last rites will be performed at the Hebbal crematorium on Thursday.

In his condolence message, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa described Mr. Venkatachala as a person who strengthened the anti-corruption body and also built public trust over it. Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said his contribution to the fight against corruption would always be remembered.

Incidentally, Mr. Venkatachala’s daughter, Aruna Ramesh, is the Head of Emergency Department and son-in-law Ramesh D. is the head of Urology in Ramaiah hospital where he was rushed to after the fall. But both of them were out of the country, a statement from the hospital said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 3:42:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/former-karnataka-lokayukta-n-venkatachala-passes-away/article29829737.ece

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