Lokayukta appointment challenged in HC

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 12 April 2013 23:29 IST

The appointment of Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy as Goa’s first Lokayukta has today been challenged by Adv. Aires Rodrigues before the Bombay High Court at Goa.

The petition will come up for hearing on Monday, 15 April before a division bench comprising of Justice A P Lawande and Justice U V Bakre.

Aires in his petition has sought that Justice Reddy’s appointment order be quashed and set aside.

Pending hearing, he has also prayed to restrain Justice Reddy to function or act as the Goa Lokayukta.

In his petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of the India, Aires has submitted that the selection process and appointment of Justice Reddy as the Goa Lokayukta was not in accordance with law.

Aires in his petition states that Justice Reddy was selected as Lokayukta by an unlawful search committee appointed by the government, headed by Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni.

 The Lokayukta being a quasi-judicial authority, the selection and appointment had to be on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers, with the primacy vested in the Chief Justice, he has stated.

Based on the documents sought under Right to Information, Aires has stated that the entire selection process was not transparent as the intention of the government was to select and appoint a Lokayukta of the choice of the ruling party and of its Chief Minister.

According to Aires, both the Chief Minister and Advocate General are public functionaries and could be investigated by the Lokayukta,  thus they could therefore have a bias in the selection of a favourable Lokayukta who would listen to them.

This defeats the very purpose of appointing a Lokayukta, states Aires.

According to him, merely getting the Chief Justice and the Leader of Opposition to concur with the final name selected by the search committee was not a meaningful consultation as required by law. 

Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition also pointed out that the Supreme Court recently in the Gujarat Lokayukta case had stressed that leaving the finality of the choice of the Lokayukta to the council of Ministers, was akin to allowing a person who is, likely to be investigated to choose his own judge and that a pliant Lokayukta would render the Lokayukta Act completely ineffective and meaningless.

Besides, the State of Goa Adv. Aires Rodrigues has also made the Lokayukta, Bombay High Court Chief Justice, Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition all parties to the petition in addition to the three members of the search committee Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni, Chief Secretary B. Vijayan and Law Secretary Pramod Kamat.

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Credits to Goa News for fair reporting & naming of Individuals where appropriate

What is wrong with the Print Media ?

- n.fernandes, London | 13 th April 2013 12:55

 

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