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Modi Government Fumes Over Gujarat Lokayukta's Appointment

PTI 27 Aug 2011, 10:22:29 IST

Ahmedabad, August 27:  The Narendra Modi Government on Friday termed Governor Kamla Beniwal's decision to appoint Lokayukta in the state as “one sided” and blamed the opposition Congress' “non-cooperation” for the delay in naming the anti-graft ombudsman.

The Gujarat Governor, on Thursday night, appointed Justice (retd) RA Mehta as the Lokayukta, bypassing the state BJP government in the process.

She bypassed the formal procedure for appointment of Lokayukta, Government Spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said, adding, “We do not understand what was the need for such one sided decision.” He alleged that the delay in the appointment was not because of the state government but due to “noncooperation” of Congress.

“As per the Rule 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, the powers of appointing Lokayukta lies with the Governor. But this rule cannot be read in isolation, it has to be read with the provisions under the Constitution, which says that the Governor is bound to act as per suggestion of the Council of Ministers of the Government, except for under exceptional circumstances,” Mr Vyas said in a press conference.

“In this case, the Governor had bypassed the formal process of appointment of the Lokayukta, and taken a one-sided decision,” Mr Vyas, who is also a minister, said.

“We are studying the legal aspects of the Governor's decision - what are the legal limitations with regard to the relation between the Governor and the Government, what are Governor's special powers vis-a-vis those of the Council of Ministers. We are studying them along with what are the powers with the State Government in this regard,” he added. PTI