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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

West Bengal Governor raises more questions on selection of new Lokayukta

Adhikari was not present in the December 27 meeting of the committee that was formed to appoint the Lokayukta. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 3, 2022 2:18:51 am
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. (File)

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday asked the Mamata Banerjee government to inform him on whose order a “judgemental view” was taken on a communication by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari over the selection of the state’s Lokayukta.

Adhikari was not present in the December 27 meeting of the committee that was formed to appoint the Lokayukta. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee.

“’As the communication of Leader of Opposition @SuvenduWB, a member of committee for appointment #Lokayukta, was apparently determined without reference to the Committee, the Governor has raised issues for response @MamataOfficial,” Dhankhar stated in a tweet.

In a letter to the state government, Dhankhar sought to know why the December 22 communication from Adhikari where the latter sought details about candidates being considered for the post and a copy of the advertisement for the same, was not put up before the committee.

“Under whose order the communication… issued under the directive of the Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition, was disposed of by taking a judgmental view on that communication?” read the letter, a copy of which was shared by Dhankhar in a tweet on Sunday.

The West Bengal government had sent a recommendation to the governor for reappointment of Justice (retired) Ashim Kumar Roy of the Calcutta High Court as the lokayukta of the state.

Dhankhar’s letter noted that a response to Adhikari’s communication on December 24, signed by the assistant secretary to government of West Bengal, indicated that since no open notification is issued in such cases, there is no list of candidates and a decision will be taken only at the meeting. It also said that “since only the retired Hon’ble Judges can be appointed as Lokayukta, seeking details of their professional career from them is not desirable.” The governor said the missive to Adhikari takes a judgemental view on the communication of the Leader of the Opposition, but does not indicate the source of the adjudicating authority.

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