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Former SC Judge, Karnataka Lokayukta Venkatachala dead


New Delhi/Bengaluru: Former Supreme Court judge, Justice (retd) N. Venkatachala passed away at a Bengaluru hospital on Wednesday morning. He was 90.

Venkatachala, who was also the Lokayukta of Karnataka, was taken to the Ramaiah Memorial Hospital after suffering a fall, the hospital said in a statement.

"Venkatachala was brought to the emergency department in an unresponsive state at 6.30 a.m. Despite all measure to resuscitate him, he remained unresponsive and died at 7 a.m.," it said.

Born on July 30, 1930 in Mittur village in Kolar district in what is now Karnataka, he enrolled as an advocate in the then High Court of Mysore in 1955 after getting his law degree from Mysore University.

Made an Additional Judge of the high court in 1977 and a permanent Judge in 1978, he even became the acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court before being elevated to the apex court judge in 1992. He served in the Supreme Court from July 1992 to July 1995.

He became the Karnataka Lokayukta in 2001 and was known for rapping corrupt officials and also ordered raids in many government offices during his tenure. He was reckoned to have filled fear in the corrupt.

He had a tenure of close to five years in the Lokayukta, where he was known to play active role and conducted the hearing of many cases in connection with misconduct and other complaints against public officials.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa condoled his death, saying: "His contribution to strengthen and instill faith about the Lokayutka institution among people is outstanding."

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted: "Saddened by the demise of former Karnataka Lokayukta and retired supreme court judge Venkatachala. His contribution to the fight against corruption shall always be remembered."

Venkatachala is survived by three sons - lawyers Seshachala and Vedhachala, and software professional Arjunachala - and daughter Arunachala.

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