Gujarat Congress urges Guv to reject Lokayukta Aayog Bill
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress today appealed to Governor Kamla Beniwal not to give her sanction to the newly-passed Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013, which the party said is "ultra vires" to the Constitution.
"Looking at the various provisions of this bill, it clearly spells that the proposed Aayog will remain merely on paper and there is no possibility of independent and neutral probe under it," says the memorandum, which was submitted to the Governor today by a delegation of Gujarat Congress led by the state unit president Arjun Modhwadia and the Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela.
"We urge you to kindly peruse the anti-constitutional provisions made in the Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013 and use the constitutional powers vested upon you," the memorandum said while requesting Governor to reject the Bill.
"Most of the provisions in the bill are clearly ultra-vires to the Constitution and aim for such a system where the accused will be made judge to decide complains against himself," it said.
On April 2, the state Assembly passed the Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013, which proposes a multi-member Lokayukta institution with one Lokayukta and up to four Up-Lokayukta in the state, by majority vote after Congress MLAs walked out of the house in protest.
The bill, aiming to curtail the power of the Governor and the chief justice of the high court in the appointment of corruption watchdog, proposes to give all the powers of the appointment to a selection committee headed by Chief Minister and wants state Governor to act on the recommendations of this committee.
Congress, in its memorandum, has expressed its strong
objections to the major provisions of the bill which concerns not only to the appointment but in regards to the inclusion of non-judicial Up-Lokayukta, final decision on the report submitted by the Aayog on the complaint against any minister or the Chief Minister and time bar on entertaining any complaints of corruption.
The new Bill comes after the state government lost a bitter fight legally and politically when Governor Kamla Beniwal, bypassing the state government, appointed Justice R A Mehta as the state Lokayukta, which was upheld by the High Court as well as the Supreme Court in January this year.
A curative petition filed by the state government against the rejection of its review petition with regards to the appointment of Mehta, is pending before the apex court for hearing.