Guj govt requests RA Mehta to take charge as new Lokayukta

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the appointment of Lokayukta done unilaterally by Governor Kamla Beniwal.

Ahmedabad: A day after Supreme Court upheld the appointment of Lokayukta done unilaterally by Governor Kamla Beniwal, the Gujarat government on Thursday formally requested Justice (Retd) R A Mehta to take charge.

"The state government has today formally approached Justice R A Mehta requesting him to assume office," Additional Secretary General Administration Department (GAD) Harsh Brahmabhatt said.

"Now it is up to him on when to take charge," he said.

Today, officials from GAD and Advocate General of the state Kamal Trivedi went to meet Justice Mehta at his residence here and made a formal request to assume office.

Meanwhile, today also Justice R A Mehta maintained silence on the issue of taking up the charges of his post.

"Though state government has officially requested me to take charge of the office I have not decided yet when to do that," he said.

On Wednesday, following the SC decision, upholding his appointment as Lokayukta, Mehta had refused to divulge when will he take the charge.

In a setback to Gujarat government, the apex court had upheld the appointment of Mehta as State Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal, saying it was done in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla dismissed the Gujarat government`s plea that the appointment was illegal as it was done without consulting it.

The apex court also faulted the Governor saying she "misjudged her role" for appointing Mehta without holding consultations with the state government.

Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal had on August 25 appointed Mehta as the Lokayukta of Gujarat by-passing the state council of ministers led by chief minister Narendra Modi.

The Modi government had approached the court against the decision. Yesterday, Law minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama had said the state government will implement the decision of the SC at the earliest.