Zee Media Bureau
Ahmedabad: The Lokayukta office of Gujarat, that has been lying vacant for almost 10 years, will have to wait for some more time to get an occupant.
Justice (Retired) RA Mehta has withdrawn his consent for the appointment as the Gujarat Lokayukta and declined to assume the office.
In a letter to Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal and the government, Justice Mehta stated that he cannot assume the position in view of the mindset and attitude displayed by the state government.
"A Lokayukta unwanted by the government cannot get all the necessary and timely support from a reluctant government", Justice Mehta said.
"Persistently and tenaciously approaching the Supreme Court with special leave petition, review petition, and curative petition at huge public expense. It may be compared to the budget for the Lokayukta office or cvcn the high court (which deals with lacs of cases every year). It would be an eye-opener."
"Rs. 45 crores of public money is said to have been spent by the Gujarat government in this litigation. This is a humongously disproportionate figure by any standard," Justice Mehta stated in the letter.
Last month, the Supreme Court had rejected the Gujarat government’s curative petition seeking chief minister`s say in the appointment of Lokayukta as in Karnataka, paving the way for Justice Mehta to assume the prestigious office.
The Modi government’s stand has been that appointment of Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal was “illegal” as it was done without consulting the state government.
Gujarat does not have Lokayukta since 2003.