THE INDIAN LAW INSTITUTE
LL.M. (Two Year Course)
Wednesday Seminar III
(10:00 AM - 12:15 PM)
State of Gujarat and Anr. v. Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.A. Mehta (Retd.) and Ors.
M. Deepika Priyadarshini
Birendra Bikram and Amita Rapporteur:
Udyan Kumar Guatam
IN THE instant case, the appointment of Lokayukta in the State of Gujarat was challenged. The Governor of Gujarat had appointed R.A. Mehta J. (Retd.) as Lokayukta in consultation with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Gujarat under section 3(1) of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986 (hereinafter the Act), without consulting the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers. Opposing this decision of the Governor, the State of Gujarat filed a writ petition in the High Court of Gujarat, challenging the appointment of R.A. Mehta J. to the post of Lokayukta. The matter was heard by a division bench and a split verdict was given. The matter was subsequently referred to the 3rd judge and on the basis of majority, the writ petition was dismissed and the said appointment was upheld. Hence, these appeals are made by the State of Gujarat against the appointment of respondent.
The Supreme Court held that these appeals lack merit and are accordingly dismissed. The Court after considering the facts held that the statutory construction itself mandates the primacy of the opinion of the Chief Justice as contemplated under the Section 3(1) of the Act. In Justice K.P.Mohapatra v. Sri Ram Chandra Nayak and Ors., the court held that primacy is required to be given to the opinion of the Chief Justice of High Court. It was submitted that the Governor being a titular head of the State, is bound to act only in accordance with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. In Samsher Singh...
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