Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that Governor Kamla Beniwal be recalled over her controversial appointment of Lokayukta bypassing the state government.
Following up on the demand by the BJP central
leadership that the Governor be recalled, Modi in the strongly
worded letter to the prime minister also demanded that the
Lokayukta appointment be annulled.
Modi said the Governor has "wrongly appropriated" the
function of the duly elected State Government which is a
"major subversion" of the Constitution of India.
The letter came against the backdrop of the Governor
appointing justice R A Mehta as Gujarat Lokayukta bypassing
the BJP government last week. The post has been lying vacant
for the last seven and half years.
"Governor of Gujarat in collusion with the Leader of
Opposition issued Warrant of Appointment of a person who has
been participating in quasi-political activities and
campaigning against the State Government, as Lokayukta of the
State without the advice of Council of Ministers," Modi said.
"Governor of Gujarat has wrongly appropriated the
function of the duly elected State Government which is a major
subversion of the Constitution of India and has an important
bearing on our system of governance and federal polity of
India," Modi said in the letter.
The appointment of Mehta was made as per Section 3(A)
of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act which says that Governor shall
appoint Lokayukta in consultation with Chief Justice of
Gujarat High Court and Leader of Opposition.
"You are fully aware of the Constitutional provisions. The Article 163 of the Constitution is over and above Section 3 of the Lokayukta Act, 1986",Modi told the prime minister.
"The provision of any Act does not have a supremacy
over provisions in the Constitution of India. In the same way,
Lokayukta Act, 1986 gives power to the Governor under
Section 3 of the Lokayukta Act but at the same time, the
Governor has to work on the advice of the Council of Ministers
as laid down in Article 163 of the Constitution," Modi argued.
Urging the prime minister to act, Modi said, "I request
you to take necessary action for the annulment of aforesaid
warrant of appointment of Lokayukta and immediate recall of
Smt Kamla as Governor of Gujarat."
"Perusal of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986 shows that
the word `Governor` in Section 3 of the Acts means, the
`Government` and there are any number of Supreme Court
judgements which clarified that the Governor has to act on the
aide and advice of the Council of Ministers," Modi observed.
"There are no discretionary powers with the Governor to
appoint Lokayukta without specific recommendations of Council
of Ministers," he added.
"It is obvious that all of sudden, there is a deliberate
unique interpretation by the Governor of Gujarat in the
matter of appointment of Lokayukta of the State.
"In the past, many of the Governors by their dubious
omissions and commissions, brought disgrace to the
constitutional position. Subversion of constitution makes
ordinary people, the backbone of democracy angry and
weakens their faith in the democracy," Modi stated.
"I take this opportunity to urge you that as a Prime
Minister having pledged to hold the Constitution of India,
should not allow the subversion of the very same Constitution
for petty gains," Modi further said.
"It may not be out of place to mention here that the
Sarkaria Commission also recommended that in the states ruled
by Opposition parties, instead of politicians, scholarly and
reputed persons should be appointed as Governor," Modi said.
"Since the Governor is appointed under Article 155 by
the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers
headed by the prime Minister, it is your bounden duty to take
note of subversion of the Constitution by the Governor and
take remedial action," he asserted.