Millennium Post

Mehta declines Lokayukta post, blasts Modi govt

Justice R A Mehta, whose appointment as Gujarat Lokayukta was opposed by Narendra Modi, on Wednesday declined to assume office, saying the controversy has ‘denigrated’ the office of the anti-corruption watchdog.

A retired Gujarat high court judge, Mehta, blasted the Modi government for calling him ‘biased’ and ‘anti-government’, while opposing his appointment.

‘A Lokayukta unwanted by the government cannot get all the necessary and timely support from it,’ he said in a letter to Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal who had appointed him, triggering a standoff with the Modi government.

Maintaining that the ‘appointment has lost all the grace and dignity’, the former judge said he was withdrawing his consent as ‘he could not persuade himself to accept the office of Lokayukta’.

‘I am averse to any controversy and try to keep away.

The present controversy has denigrated the office of the Lokayukta and adversely affected its credibility. The appointment has lost all the grace and dignity,’ he said.

Assailing the Modi government, Mehta said, ‘The objection alleging anti-government bias (though negatived by the courts), really hurts. Some think that if a person is not pro-government, he is necessarily anti-government. They can’t accept that there is third category, neither pro nor anti, but independent and neutral. Their mindset is clear- their way or no other way.’
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