Guv digs in heels: Won’t let amend Lokayukta Acthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/guv-digs-in-heels-wont-let-amend-lokayukta-act/

Guv digs in heels: Won’t let amend Lokayukta Act

Governor Kamal Beniwal on Friday clarified she was not in the favour of the amendment proposed by the state government to the existing Lokayukta Act,1986.

State govt had sent her an Ordinance proposing changes to empower CM to suggest Lokayukta’s name

Governor Kamal Beniwal on Friday clarified she was not in the favour of the amendment proposed by the state government to the existing Lokayukta Act,1986.

After announcing the name of Lokayukta on Friday morning,Beniwal said she was not inclined to give her assent to the Ordinance to amend the Lokayukta Act that has been sent to her.

On August 18,the state government had sent the Lokayukta Amendment Ordinance,2011,to the Governor for her nod.

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Beniwal said the proposed Ordinance intended to remove a few provisions from the Act that empower the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court to suggest a name for the Lokayukta’s job. The amendment instead wanted to give these powers to a committee headed by the Chief Minister.

“The proposal is pending before me,but I am not in favour of this in the public interest,” the Governor said.

The proposed Ordinance suggests the appointment of a committee for the selection of Lokayukta in the state,much on the lines of the proposed Lokpal Bill at the Centre.

It also suggests that the committee headed by the Chief Minister will have two other members – the Leader of Opposition (LOP) in the state Assembly and a private member from among citizens.

As per the current provisions of the Act,the Chief Minister or the government has no direct role in the selection of the Lokayukta. The Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court suggests the name of any retired judge for the post of Lokayukta to the Governor,who,in consultation with the Leader of Opposition (LOP),reviews the name.

If satisfied,the Governor can ask the state government to issue a notification for the appointment of that person as a Lokayukta.

If the proposed Ordinance were to be vetted by the Governor’s nod,the entire process of Lokayukta’s selection would have to start afresh,delaying further the appointment pending for the last seven years.