Modi government may seek review of SC order on Lokayukta



Ahmedabad: Gujarat government could file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the apex court order upholding the appointment of Justice (retd) R A Mehta as Lokayukta by the Governor.

"We have not filed it (review petition) today and I can't tell what will happen tomorrow," Law Minister Bhupendrasingh Chudasama said here.

Sources in the administration said the government is contemplating filing a review petition in the Lokayukta case, the ruling on which had come early this month.

Justice Mehta has not yet assumed the charge of Lokayukta, citing the likely filing of the review petition.

"A review petition is being filed in the Supreme Court by the state government," he told PTI today when asked about the reason for not taking charge as the anti-corruption ombudsman despite the Supreme Court verdict.

Political parties like Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) have criticised the BJP government for its reported move to challenge the Supreme Court ruling.

"Instead of accepting the apex court order, the state government is preparing a review petition on the Lokayukta issue. This shows how hollow the Chief Minister's claims of honesty are," said GPP General Secretary Gordhan Zadafia in a statement.

In a big blow to Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court had on January 2 upheld the appointment of Justice Mehta as Gujarat Lokayukta, a post lying vacant since 2003, by Governor Kamla Beniwal.

The apex court had noted that the post lying vacant for nine years reflected a "very sorry state of affairs". It had dismissed Modi government's plea that the appointment was illegal as it was done without consulting it.

After the verdict, the state government had said it would implement the order. "We will soon implement the SC judgement on Lokayukta," Chudasama had said on January 2.

PTI