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New Lokayukta Bill passed in Gujarat assembly

The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday passed a bill in the Gujarat assembly which curtails the ‘primacy’ of the chief justice of the state high court and the governor in the matter of appointment of the Lokayukta.

The Lokayukta Aayog Bill, 2013 proposes to give all the powers of the appointment to a selection committee headed by CM and wants state governor to act on the recommendations of this committee.

The new Bill comes after the state government lost a bitter fight legally and politically when governor Kamla Beniwal, bypassing the state government, appointed Justice R A Mehta as the state Lokayukta which was upheld by the high court as well as Supreme Court in January this year.

The SC had ruled that primacy of the opinion of chief justice of the high court in the Lokayukta Act was final. ‘For the purpose of conducting investigations and inquiries in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the governor shall, by warrant under his hand and seal and, on the recommendations of a selection committee as provided below, appoint a person as the Lokayukta and not more than four other persons as Up-Lokayuktas,’ reads the proposed section 3 of the Bill.
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