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Gujarat HC gives split verdict on Lokayukta appointment

October 10, 2011 17:14 IST
The Gujarat high court gave a split verdict on the appointment of a Lokayukta by the governor with one judge upholding it and another differing from that view.

Dismissing the state government's petition challenging the appointment of Justice R N Mehta as the Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal on August 25, Justice Akil Qureshi rejected the government's contention that the governor acted without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers cannot be held right in this case as it was a peculiar case.

In his order, Justice Qureshi said the post of Lokayukta was lying vacant for the last eight years and there was a deadlock between the chief justice (of the high court) and chief minister on the name of Justice Mehta.

When the chief justice suggested Justice Mehta's name, the chief minister and his council of ministers rejected Mehta's name. There was a deadlock between the two and in such a stage the opinion of the chief justice of high court is supreme, Justice Qureshi said.

He said since last the Lokayukta retired in 2003, the government did not not begin the consultation process till 2006. And when the consultation process began in 2006, there was no no appointment till 2011, which is five years.

"We are of the view that the post of Lokayukta has an important role to play in the present socio-economic situation and should not not lie vacant for a long," Justice Qureshi said.

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