Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guj Lokayukta: HC notice to govt

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court asked the Modi government to explain why it had not appointed a Lokayukta in the state for over seven years.
This comes even as CM Narendra Modi is extending support to Anna Hazare’s movement against the Centre on similar grounds.
HC acted on a PIL filed by Bhikhabhai Jethava, whose son RTI-activist son Amit was shot dead outside the high court last year. A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and Sonia Gokani has asked the state to file a detailed affidavit by August 29.
Jethava has sought an order terming the non-appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat as unconstitutional and asking the government to fill the post in the stipulated period as per the Gujarat Lokayukta Act 1986. Amit Jethava too had filed a PIL last year demanding appointment of Lokayukta. In June last year, the additional advocate general had told the court that the cabinet had taken the decision and forwarded the proposal to the governor. He had also assured the court that Lokayukta would be appointed within three months.
The petition said the Gujarat government was preventing a statutory authority from probing allegations of corruption, misdeeds and abuse of power for personal benefit by ministers and public functionaries. Jethava has alleged this was willful failure to fulfill constitutional obligation when the government is facing serious complaints about corruption.

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