Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hearing on Lokayukta appointment begins


Ahmedabad: Hearing over the dispute on appointment of lokayukta in the state began before a third judge in the Gujarat High Court on Monday. Justice V M Sahai was referred the case after a split verdict by a division bench of Justices Akil Qureshi and Sonia Gokani.
The court began with arguments by the state government which has challenged governor Dr Kamla’s decision of appointment of retired Justice R AMehta as Gujarat lokayukta.
Appearing on behalf of the government, advocate general Kamal Trivedi argued that the consultation process between the governor, council of ministers headed by chief minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat high court chief justice (CJ) was not over and the appointment of Justice Mehta was done in haste on August 25.
Trivedi argued that after CJ’s recommendation of Justice Mehta on June 7, the state government had written back to CJ with objections to his name. Trivedi told the court that government had reservation about Mehta due to associations with anti-government activists groups.
Trivedi said that the CJ in a letter to Modi on August 2 had said that Mehta was a man of high repute and integrity and it cannot be said that he was associated with one or the other NGO as there was nothing to suggest that he is a member of any NGO, while recommending his name for lokayukta.
The advocate general said that the state government replied to CJ’s letter on August 18 elaborating on the allegations against Mehta. He said that while the reply to the August 18 letter was awaited, the governor on August 25 appointed Mehta as lokayukta by issuing a warrant from her office, which under normal course has to be issued by the state government’s General Administration Department.


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