Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Lokayukta and former Supreme Court Judge N. Venkatachala (89) passed away here this morning. He is survived by his daughter Dr. Aruna Ramesh and son-in-law Dr. D. Ramesh.
Justice Venkatachala, while serving as Karnataka Lokayukta (2001 to 2005), had instilled fear among corrupt officials and netas. He had also led hundreds of raids against corrupt officials and was very much vocal against malpractices in administration.
“Justice N. Venkatachala had an accidental fall at home after getting up at 6 am. He was brought to emergency room at M.S. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in an unresponsive state at 6.30 am. Despite all resuscitate measures, he remained unresponsive. He was declared no more at 7 am,” according to a statement from the hospital.
Several dignitaries including Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, former Chief Ministers Siddharamaiah and H.D. Kumaraswamy are among those who have condoled his demise.
Born in July 1930 to an agriculturalist family in Mittur village in Mulbagal, Kolar district, Justice Nanje Gowda Venkatachala went on to obtain his law degree from University of Mysore.
He enrolled as an advocate in the then High Court of Mysore (now Karnataka) in November 1955. Following his enrolment, he practiced in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional matters. He was also a part-time Reader in Mercantile Law from 1958 to 1970.
Justice Venkatachala also served as a Legal Adviser to the University of Agricultural Sciences, Hebbal from 1963 to 1973 and to the Bangalore University from 1970 to 1973. He worked as a Government Pleader from 1968 to 1973 and as a High Court Government Advocate between 1973 and 1977 before being appointed an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court in November, 1977. He was appointed a Permanent Judge in September, 1978.
In 1990, he was appointed to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. During May 1992, he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. In July 1992, he was appointed a Judge of Supreme Court. He retired from the post in July 1995. Following his retirement, Justice Venkatachala also served as Lokayukta for State of Karnataka.