Gujarat Guv returns new Lokayukta bill

 In what may lead to another face-off between the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government and the state Governor Kamla Beniwal, the latter has returned for reconsideration the Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013 passed by the state Assembly in March 2013.

The bill aims at curtailing the powers of the governor and the chief justice of Gujarat high court in appointing a Lokayukta while giving almost all the powers to a committee led by the chief minister. The state government had passed the bill after losing a two-year long legal battle in the Supreme Court over the appointment of Justice (Retd) R A Mehta as Lokayukta.

Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government had proposed to completely repeal the 27-year-old act itself and replace it with the new Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013 in which it has seized the key powers of governor in appointing the Lokayukta and of the chief justice of Gujarat high court in suggesting the Lokayukta.

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