Hearing on Lokayukta adjourned till Dec 26

Ahmedabad: Hearing on the dispute over the appointment of Lokayukta in the state was adjourned till December 26 by the Gujarat High Court on Thursday.

Justice VM Sahai, who was assigned the task of hearing the Lokayukta case following a split verdict by a division bench, adjourned the matter following request from respondents and intervener in the case on personal grounds and health problems.

The Gujarat government, which had challenged appointment of Justice (retd) R A Mehta by Governor Kamla as Lokayukta, did not raise any objections to the request made by the respondents, following which the matter was adjourned till December 26.

The court recorded some facts and the points on which the earlier division bench had differed, so that argument could directly begin on the disputed issues in the next hearing.

Bypassing the Narendra Modi government, the Governor on August 25 appointed Justice Mehta as the state Lokayukta, a post which was lying vacant since November 2003.

The state government had challenged the appointment in the High Court on the next day, contending that the Governor's decision was "unconstitutional and unilateral".

On October 11, Justice Akil Kureshi heading a division bench had upheld the decision of the Governor in appointment of Justice Mehta as Lokayukta, while Justice Sonia Gokani had ordered quashing of warrant of appointment issued by the Governor terming it to be "unconstitutional".

Last month, Justice Sahai had referred the matter back to the division bench asking it to frame the points of disagreement, based on which he would hear the case.

Justices Akil Qureshi and Sonia Gokani had last week listed their points of disagreement as per their respective verdicts in the case.