Petition says he has been appointed solely on the basis of being BJP MLA

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to the State government on a PIL petition questioning legality of appointing BJP MLA Nehru Olekar as chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma passed the order on the petition filed by K. Rajanna from Kolar district.

It has been contended in the petition that Mr. Olekar has been appointed solely on the basis of him being a legislator from the ruling party as there is no material or document available to show that he has “special knowledge” in the matter of SCs/STs as prescribed in the law to be considered for the post of chairperson of the commission.

Apart from belonging to SC community and having been elected from the Haveri Legislative Assembly constituency (reserved for SC), there is no material to show that he has “special knowledge” in the matter pertaining to SCs/STs, the petitioner has contended while pointing out that Mr. Olekar is facing four criminal cases as per his disclosure made before the Election Commission of India in his nomination paper.

The wrong tendency of equating the commission with the Boards and Corporation, and appointing a political leader to head such a body is fraught with great risk, it has been stated in the petition.

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