The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that had sought the dissolution of the MB Shah Commission,set up by the Gujarat government to probe corruption allegations against it. A division bench of the HC,comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala dismissed the petition for default after the petitioners lawyer did not turn up during the hearing on Friday.
The PIL was moved by one Mohammed Suleman Rehmatkhan Pathan from Ahmedabad. Pathan had claimed that in order to avoid investigation by Lokayukta into various allegations of corruption,the Modi government had constituted the Commission. MB Shah Commission was constituted by the state government on August 17,2011 to probe into 17 allegations of corruption worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore. Pathan had contended that under the provisions of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act,the Lokayukta was restrained from looking into the allegations once the Commission was appointed to enquire into the same.
In his petition,the petitioner had also relied on the Supreme Court observations on the issue made while dismissing a state governments petition related to the appointment of Justice (retired) R A Mehta.
Government Pleader Prakash Jani,who appears for the state government,said that the lawyer of the petitioner did not remain present before the court and so it was dismissed on default. The petitioner can move an application to restore the PIL dismissed for default. In its observations,the apex court had indicated that in order to avoid an enquiry by the Lokayukta,an enquiry commission was set up under the Commission of Enquiry Act by the state.