Gujarat HC to decide on Lokayukta appointment
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court is expected to take up for hearing, Wednesday, a petition filed by the state government challenging the appointment of Lokayukta by the Governor without consulting the Chief Minister.
On Aug 25, Governor Kamla Beniwal, bypassing the state government, appointed Justice (Retd) RA Mehta as the state Lokayukta.
State government’s petition argues that, constitutionally, the Governor herself cannot take decision on appointment of Lokayukta nor can she work independent of the council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Centre seems to be coming around to considering BJP's demand for removal of Gujarat Lokayukta.
The BJP had disrupted Parliament for three consecutive days to protest against the "unconstitutional" appointment of Mehta as Lokayukta. BJP has alleged that Mehta is an activist who has spoken often against the Modi government.
A delegation of BJP MPs had met President Pratibha Patil last week and submitted a memorandum seeking Beniwal's recall.
Sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has himself conveyed to BJP Parliamentary Party Chief LK Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley that the government is mulling over removing Mehta from the Lokayukta post.
While Singh and Leader of the House in Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, among others are in agreement that Governor Beniwal should not have appointed the Lokayukta without taking Modi into confidence, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee is against Mehta's removal.