Apex court appoints UP Lokayukta; Akhilesh govt embarrassed

Apex court appoints UP Lokayukta; Akhilesh govt embarrassed

Invoking its constitutional powers, the Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed  former high court judge Justice Virendra Singh as Uttar Pradesh’s Lokayukta after the state government failed to comply with its directives.

The apex court while making the appointment, also expressed its disapproval over the “failure” of constitutional functionaries to comply with the orders of the highest court.

The UP government failed to meet the Supreme Court’s  deadline to appoint Lokayukta even after two rounds of marathon talks.

After a five-hour long meeting of a three-member selection committee that ended around Tuesday midnight failed to arrive at a conclusion, talks resumed on Wednesday morning at the residence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow.

But even that meeting, lasting two hours, failed to come up with a name despite the Supreme Court’s order that the state government should submit a compliance report by Wednesday.

The apex court ordered the appointment of Virendra Singh, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court after it examined five short-listed names for the post of the state’s ombudsman and asked the state government to file a report by December 20 indicating a compliance of its order.

In the forenoon, the bench took strong note of the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the state government, that though it had shortlisted five names, no consensus has been arrived at on a specific person.

State embarrassed

The appointment of the Lokayukta by the Supreme Court has come as a huge embarrassment for chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whose government had been involved in a tussle with the Raj Bhavan over the issue for the past several months and had also amended the Lokayukta Act in an apparent bid to have its way in the appointment process.

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