The Supreme Court on Friday admitted Gujarat Government’s appeal against the High Court order challenging the state governor Kamla Beniwal's decision to "unilaterally" appoint Justice (Retd) R A Mehta as the Lokayukta.
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A bench of justices B S Chauhan and J S Khehar said it would examine the matter at length as vital question of constitutional law is involved. The bench has fixed up to hear the matter at a stretch of three days from February 20.
In the petition filed on January 19, the state government has sought stay of the High Court judgement and also of the August 25, 2011, order of Governor Kamla Beniwal appointing Justice Mehta as Lokayukta
The state government has raised the issue of absence of advice by the council of ministers on the appointment of Lokayukta by the Governor. It said, "the Governor, while exercising function under section 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, is to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers headed by Chief Minister and is not required to exercise the said function in the individual and personal capacity and discretion." It further added, “therefore, on this ground alone, the action under challenge deserves to be held constitutionally bad."
It also objected to the use of "very harsh expressions and language" against Gujarat Chief Minister by the high court. Gujarat High Court Justice V M Sahai, who decided the matter as a third judge had said the "pranks" played by the chief minister on the Lokayukta issue "demonstrates deconstruction of our democracy".
BJP government had suggested the name of Justice J R Vora for this job of Lokayukta but the same was not accepted by the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court on the ground that the judge had been appointed as the Director of the Gujarat State Judicial Academy.
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