Gujarat govt moves SC over Lokayukta

The Gujarat government on Thursday approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s verdict upholding appointment of Justice (retired) R A Mehta as Lokayukta by the Governor.

The petition sought to set aside the HC’s decision passed on Wednesday contending that it as “unconstitutional” as council of ministers never issued any advice for appointment of Justice Mehta to the post of anti-graft ombudsman.

“The Governor, while exercising function under section 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, is to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers headed by Chief Minister and is not required to exercise the said function in the individual and personal capacity and discretion,” the petition maintained.

The petition filed through advocate Mahesh Agarwal contended it raised the substantial question of law as appointment of Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal was made without any advice from council of ministers. The Governor had on August 25 last year appointed Justice Mehta to the post of Lokayukta, which had been lying vacant for the last eight years.

In its verdict following the split view between two judges, Justice V M Sahai had upheld the appointment and pulled up state Modi for creating a “constitutional mini crisis.”

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