In a setback to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court has upheld the appointment of Justice R A Mehta as Gujarat Lokayuta chief. The SC has upheld the Gujarat High Court order, which said the appointment by Governor Kamala Beniwal is legal.
In a tussle that pitches Mr. Modi against the Gujarat Governor, the state government had challenged the Lokayukta's appointment in the Gujarat High Court, terming it illegal and accusing the Governor of not consulting the government. Justice R A Metha was appointed by the Governor in August 2011.
The Gujarat High Court had upheld the Lokayukta's appointment in January 2012 and slammed Mr. Modi. While delivering his order, Gujarat High Court judge, Justice Sahai, said, "The Chief Minister acted under a false impression that he could turn down the superiority and primacy of the opinion of the Chief Justice, which was binding. The spiteful and challenging action demonstrates the false sense of invincibility."
Justice Sahai also said that the Chief Minister's recent attempts to amend how the Lokayukta is chosen were "depraved and truculent actions." The Gujarat government immediately appealed to the Supreme Court and wants the observations against Mr Modi to be expunged.