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Modi delaying lokayukta appointment: Congress

Special Correspondent

“Governor cleared Justice Dave's name for the post over two months ago”

GANDHINAGAR: Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil has demanded action against Chief Minister Narendra Modi for defying the Governor's order to appoint S. D. Dave, a retired judge of the Gujarat High Court, as the lokayukta.

Claims refuted

Talking to reporters on Monday, Mr. Gohil refuted the State government's claims that the Congress was playing truant in lokayukta appointment. Despite the Governor clearing Justice Dave's name for the post over two months ago, the government was not issuing the necessary notification for his appointment.

Mr. Gohil, himself a practicing advocate in the High Court, pointed out that the Chief Minister had no role to play under the State Lokayukta Act. The Governor had the power to appoint a lokayukta after consultations with the Chief Justice and the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.

He said he had given his nod to the Chief Justice's recommendation last year for appointing Justice Dave as the lokayukta and the file with the Governor's approval was sent to the government more than two months ago. But the government was sitting over the file, ignoring two reminders from the Governor, and blaming the Congress for the absence of a lokayukta. Gujarat was the only State where the office of the lokayukta had remained vacant for more than eight years.

‘Causing loss'

Accusing the government of causing losses to the tune of “billions of rupees” to the exchequer, Mr. Gohil said Mr. Modi and his Council of Ministers were deliberately delaying the appointment of a lokayukta to escape probe into corruption charges.

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