Retired High Court judge from Karnataka Justice KL Manjunath breathed his last in the early hours of Sunday. The 68-year-old former judge suffered a cardiac arrest, resulting in his death at his residence, family sources have revealed. Mourning the loss of the former judge, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, former CM HD Kumaraswamy, other ministers condoled Manjunath's demise.
CM Bommai visited Justice Manjunath's residence in Bengaluru to pay last respects by laying wreath on his mortal remains.
"His services as the President of Advocates Association, High Court judge, chairman of the Karnataka River Waters and Border Disputes Authority and the chairman of Andhra Pradesh Backward Classes Commission is commendable," Bommai said, commending him as a good lawyer.
"I pray to the almighty to bestow eternal peace on the departed soul and give the strength to his family members and well wishers to bear this grief," he added.
Bhaskar Rao, IPS, ADG of Railway Police, Bengaluru, also mourned the loss of the former judge. "In days to come Integrity and Honesty too need Muscle Power to Protect...deepest condolences to Respected KLM sir," he tweeted.
Who was Justice KL Manjunath?
Born on April 21, 1953, Justice KL Manjunath was enrolled as an advocate in 1974. He was appointed as an additional judge of the Karnataka HC in December 2000, then later in October 2001 he became a permanent judge. During his tenure, Justice Manjunath was mired with controversies.
In 2004, Justice Manjunath had bought a plot near Bengaluru International Airport, which allegedly violated the law. The plot in Vyalikaval House Building Cooperative Society (HBCS) was bought in the name of his daughter. But he was also the judge who presided over the case after petitions were filed in the HC related to the allotment of the housing society plots. Not just that, he even passed the judgement in favour of the housing society in two cases, keeping aside his personal reservations.
Over the years of his service, he was nominated for chief justice, but it never came to fruition.
Speaking about the unexplained delay, Manjunath had said at the time that he "reliably learnt that a report secured by the Chief Justice was in my favour. Still for reasons best known to the members of the collegium of judges of the Supreme Court, my file was not reconsidered. God only knows why my file was kept pending for more than 10 months."
"For the past one year, Chief Justice DH Waghela has been telling me that several forces within the judiciary are working against me and they would not allow me to be come a Chief Justice even for a day, his prediction has come true..."
Justice Manjunath, in his retirement speech, claimed that he disposed more than 68,000 cases during his 14-year career, TOI reported.