Hearing on Lokayukta row begins in Gujarat HC

Last Updated: Monday, December 26, 2011 - 22:47

Ahmedabad: The hearing on Lokayukta
appointment row began before a third judge of the Gujarat High
Court here on Monday, with Narendra Modi Government maintaining
that Governor had acted in a "haste" as the consultation
process was not yet over.

Justice VM Sahai has been assigned the task of
hearing the Lokayukta matter following a split verdict by a
Division Bench of Justices Akil Qureshi and Sonia Gokani.

Proceedings began with arguments by the government
which has challenged the appointment of Justice (retd) RA
Mehta as Lokayukta by Governor Kamla on August 25 without
consulting it.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi argued that the process of
consultation between the Governor, Council of Ministers headed
by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the High Court Chief
Justice (CJ) on the appointment was not over and the Governor
had acted in a "haste" by naming Justice Mehta as head of the
anti-corruption body.

Trivedi argued that after the CJ recommended the name
of Justice Mehta on June 7, the Government had written back to
him objecting to the name. The Government had maintained that
he was "old" for the job, associated with anti-Government
activist groups and shared platform with people known for
their "antagonism for Gujarat Government".

Trivedi said the CJ, in a letter to Modi on August 2,
had said Mehta was a man of high repute and integrity, and
there was nothing to suggest he is a member of any NGO.

On October 11, Justice Kureshi had upheld the decision
of Governor to appoint Justice Mehta as Lokayukta, while his
colleague Justice Gokani had termed it as unconstitutional.

Submissions are likely to continue tomorrow.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 26, 2011 - 22:47

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