GOVERNOR Ram Naik Tuesday cleared six of 11 Bills that the state government had sent to him for approval. He also referred three Bills to President of India seeking his opinion and withheld two, including The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta (amendment) Bill 2015, for further examination.
There has been an ongoing tussle between the Raj Bhavan and the Uttar Pradesh government over appointment of new Lokayukta in the state. Naik had objected to the name of Justice (Rted) Ravindra Singh recommended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. While returning the file for the fifth time last month, the Governor had asked the government to recommend any other name except that of Singh. He had stated that Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, who is supposed to be consulted for such selection, had raised objection over the Singh’s name citing his closeness to the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state.
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Following this, the Akhilesh Yadav government brought in a Bill to amend the Lokayukta Act by dropping the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice from the selection committee. The Bill, which seeks to make the panel a four-member body of chief minister, Leader of the Opposition, Speaker and a retired judge (to be selected in consultation with CM and Speaker), was passed by the state Assembly on August 27. It is this Bill that the Governor has withheld apart from the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences Bill.
Out of three Bills that have been referred to the President of India, two —- UP Civil Laws (Amendment) Bill-2015 and Indian Stamp (Uttar Pradesh amendment) Bill 2015 —- are related to topics on the concurrent list and affect the central Acts.
The other Bill referred to the President of India —- The Era University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Bill-2015 —- will clear the way for setting up a new private university by Muslim community in Lucknow.
As per the official spokesperson of Raj Bhavan, the Bill had certain provisions “that affects central laws and also University Grants Commission Act”. Among others, it provides that the “University status can be withdrawn if the state Assembly clears proposal by two-third majority”. It also provides that any decision taken by the state government to “review the hurdles faced by the University” would be “out of the legal review of High Court and the Supreme Court”, the spokesperson said.
The Bills that have been cleared by the Governor include UP Technical University (Amendment) Bill-2015 (changing the name of UP Technical University to APJ Abdul Kalam University); UP Indian Medicine (Amendment) Bill-2015 (which authorises Ayurvedic and Unani doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines as well); UP Krishi Utpadan Mandi (Second Amendment) Bill-2015 (where the fine on the offenders of Mandi Act would be increased). The others includ UP Higher Education Services Commission (Amendment) Bill-2015; Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Uttar Pradesh (amendment) 2015.