Third judge begins hearing on Lokayukta dispute

A third judge of the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday began hearing the dispute over appointment of Lokayukta of the state.

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2011, 22:55 PM IST

Ahmedabad: A third judge of the Gujarat High
Court on Wednesday began hearing the dispute over appointment of
Lokayukta of the state, following the split verdict where two
judges had differed on the matter.

The issue of formulating the points of differences was
raised by senior counsel Girish Patel, appearing on behalf of
one of the respondents Bhikabhai Jethwa, before Justice V M
Sahai, who was assigned the task of hearing the matter by the
Chief Justice.

Patel contended that the judges who had differed on
the issue need to formulate the points on which they had based
their opinions and place them before the third judge who would
then conduct a hearing on the specifics instead of all the
issues raised.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, representing the
Gujarat Government, objected to Patel`s contention saying
there was no hard and fast rule on who will formulate the
points on which the judges disagreed.

They can be formulated either by the differing judges
or by the third judge, Trivedi said.

Both Patel and Trivedi cited previous judgements to
support their arguments.

After hearing them both, Justice Sahai reserved the
order on whether to refer the matter back to the division
bench to formulate the points of differences or frame the
points himself, till tomorrow.

Wednesday`s hearing was restricted to the discussion on
who will formulate the points of differences appeared in the
split verdict delivered by Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice
Sonia Gokani.

Justice Kureshi, on October 11, had upheld Governor
Kamla`s decision of appointing justice (retired) R A Mehta as
Lokayukta while his colleague Justice Gokani had ordered
quashing of the warrant of appointment issued by the governor
terming it "unconstitutional".

PTI