Modi govt did not want NGO-linked ex-judge as Lokayukta

Modi govt did not want NGO-linked ex-judge as Lokayukta

This was stated in an affidavit filed by K S Prasad, Principal Private Secretary to office of the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, during the hearing on the government's petition challenging appointment of Mehta as Lokayukta, before a Division Bench of justices Akil Kureshi and Sonia Gokani.

Governor Kamla had last month apportioned Mehta, a retired high court judge, as the anti-corruption ombudsman bypassing the Modi government, which moved the court against the controversial decision.

Prasad was asked to file an affidavit by the high court detailing the communication between the Chief Justice, Modi and governor with regard to the appointment of Lokayukta.

According to Prasad, Modi had written a confidential letter to Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya on June 16 stating that Mehta had crossed the age of 75, and looking at the nature of duties and responsibilities of Lokayukta, he may not be a suitable candidate at such an old age.

"Mehta is associated with a few NGOs, social activist groups and he has also given services as a panelist for them.

Because of his association with the NGOs, social activist groups, he may be in a fixed frame of mind on certain issues relating to the governance in the state. He has also shared platform with such people who are known for their antagonism for the State Government," Modi's letter said as stated in Prasad's affidavit.