A day after the Supreme Court invoked its constitutional powers and chose Justice (retd) Virendra Singh as the Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh from a panel of names placed before it, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud of Allahabad High Court wrote a letter to Governor Ram Naik Thursday, expressing displeasure that despite his strong objection Justice Virendra Singh had been included in the panel of names sent to the top court.
Justice Chandrachud also pointed out that the name was included though Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had assured it would not be done.
Governor Naik has forwarded Justice Chandrachud’s letter to the Chief Minister as well as Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya — the High Court Chief Justice, Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition are the three functionaries who decide on the Lokayukta.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, citing the “inability of the constitutional authorities”, invoked its constitutional powers to appoint Justice Virendra Singh, a former Allahabad High Court judge, as the new Lokayukta.
Confirming that the Chief Justice had objected to Justice Virendra Singh for the post of Lokayukta, Leader of Opposition and BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya told The Indian Express: “Chief Justice had objected to Virendra Singh’s name but Supreme Court had asked for names that were being discussed and this name was also being discussed, so it was sent. As far as the letter is concerned, I am not in Lucknow and have not received it so far from Governor House.”
Meanwhile, Governor Naik has returned the state government’s file on the appointment of Justice Virendra Singh as Lokayukta because the copy of the Supreme Court order was not attached.
When The Indian Express sought his comments, Governor Naik declined to comment on the letter he had received from the Chief Justice but confirmed he had returned the Lokayukta appointment file since it came without a copy of the Supreme Court order.
It is learnt that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Justice Chandrachud and and Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya sat for five hours Tuesday evening and for two hours Wednesday morning to discuss the names before the Supreme Court gave its ruling.
Sources in the Governor House said that in his letter, the Chief Justice detailed the selection procedure that was adopted and the discussions that took place. The letter, sources said, maintained that the second round of meeting on Wednesday morning had ended on the note that the name of Justice Virendra Singh would not be pressed further, that the name of a serving judge, Justice A N Mittal, would be considered at the next sitting the same evening. But that sitting never took place because the Supreme Court named the Lokayukta.