Friday, August 26, 2011

HC refuses to grant stay

The unprecedented move by the Gujarat governor may lead to a prolonged legal battle. The state government immediately challenged Justice R A Mehta’s appointment in the Gujarat High Court which refused to grant a stay. Justice Abhilasha Kumari fixed August 30 for the next hearing. No sooner the news about the appointment reached the Sachivalaya, the government went into huddle and began taking legal advice, especially from Arun Jaitley and Ram Jethmalani.
Sources said the government was considering various options - including taking the matter to the Supreme Court. As the appointment has been made by the governor, the state government cannot take legal action against her as she happens to be the head of the state. Also, since Justice Mehta's name was suggested by the chief justice of Gujarat HC, S J Mukhopadhyay, it is only appropriate that a higher court hears the case.
Leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil hailed the governor’s decision, saying that the Lokayukta can inquire only into cases less than five years old. “As we have had no Lokayukta for seven-and-a-half years, we have given a clean chit to two-and-a-half years of corruption.” Government spokesperson Jay Narayan Vyas described R A Mehta’s appointment as “not in the spirit of the Constitution of India and bad in law”, adding, that the government was “weighing options” to counter the move.

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