Ahmedabad: Two Gujarat High Court judges, who
gave a split verdict on validity of the appointment of the
state Lokayukta, on Friday submitted their points of disagreement
on the issue to the Chief Justice.
Last month Justice VM Sahai was assigned the task of
hearing the Lokayukta matter following a split verdict given
by a division bench. Justice Sahai had, however, referred the
matter back to the bench asking it to frame the points of
disagreement based on which he would hear the case.
The matter landed in court after Governor Kamla, in
August, bypassed the Narendra Modi government and appointed
Justice (Retd) RA Mehta as the anti-corruption ombudsman.
Justices Akil Kureshi and Sonia Gokani have listed that
they deferred on point whether the consultation process for
Lokayukta`s appointment between the HC chief justice, chief
minister and governor was over or there was a deadlock.
They submitted that there was difference of opinion on
whether the governor acted as per the Section 3 of the Gujarat
Lokayukta Act and if it was under the aide and advice of the
council of ministers.
The division bench further raised the question whether
the government`s petition, challenging the appointment of
Justice Mehta, be allowed or not. And in case it is allowed,
can the HC direct the government to appoint a Lokayukta in a
stipulated period of time?
The points of difference will now be sent to the third
judge who would hear further arguments based on them.
On October 11, Justice Kureshi, heading the bench, had
upheld the governor`s decision, while his colleague Justice
Gokani termed Justice Mehta`s appointment as unconstitutional.