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Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao resigns amid bribery scandal

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New Delhi: Facing chances of impeachment in a bribery case, Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao resigned from his post on Tuesday. The resignation letter was sent to Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala on Monday and was accepted by the Governor today.

Rao was put under pressure to resign after the allegation were leveled against him.

“Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka is pleased to accept the resignation of Dr. Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao, as Lokayukta of Karnataka State with immediate effect,” Raj Bhavan said in a statement.

A motion was moved by BJP and JDS and affirmed by the presiding Congress government seeking the removal of Rao pending before the Karnataka Assembly with the Speaker Kagodu Thimappa viewing it before denoting the issue to the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice to take the procedure ahead.

Rao has been on a long leave since last July once his son Ashwin Rao was detained by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in association with the case.

Over 85 legislators signed an appeal looking for the impeachment of Justice Bhaskar Rao, who has not appeared in office since the last 100 days. Subsequently, a charge-sheet was filed against his son Ashwin Rao. Incidentally, Justice Rao was made a witness to the case. The case also had involvement of other executives of the Lokayukta, RTI campaigners and journalists.

The scandal was uncovered after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote a letter to the registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta regarding the complaint she received from a person, who was apparently from the Lokayukta office, and demanded Rs 1 crore in bribe to avoid a raid.

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The United States Of America Drops Out Of Top 20 Corrupt Countries

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom.

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USA, Corruption
U.S. President Donald Trump is seen through his transparent teleprompter as he speaks during the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 17, 2019. VOA

A global anti-corruption watchdog says the United States has dropped four spots in its list of nations’ anti-corruption efforts and is now no longer listed in the top 20 for the first time.

Acting U.S. Representative at Transparency International, Zoe Reiter, calls a four point drop in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) a “red flag.”

She says it comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing “threats to its system of checks and balances” and an “erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.”

USA. government
Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico., VOA

“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally,” Reiter says.

The United States scored a 71 in the perceptions index after scoring 75 the previous year.

“The expert opinion captured by the CPI supports the deep concern over corruption in government reported by America in our 2017 survey. Both experts and the public believe the situation is getting worse,” Reiter said.

Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Transparency International uses several criteria for measuring how well a country is fighting corruption, including checks and balances on political power, controls on conflicts of interest and private influence on government, and voter suppression.

Also Read: World’s Anti-Corruption Day

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom. (VOA)