Setback to Modi as SC upholds appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta

The Supreme Court has held that the Gujarat governor had breached no constitutional norms in the appointment of the state Lokayukta and that the appointment made after taking into consideration the views of the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, was valid.

The apex court rejected the contention of the state government that Justice (Retd) A R Mehta was appointed unilaterally by the governor without consulting the state government and hence invalid.

A bench comprising justices BS Chauhan and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla rejected the state government's appeal against an order of the Gujarat High Court of January 2012 upholding the governor's decision.

The state government had argued that the governor is bound to act on the advice of the cabinet and its consent is must for the appointment of Lokayukta.

Also, according to the state government, the governor had exercised his personal discretion unilaterally by issuing the warrant of appointment of Lokayukta, which was "unwarranted".

The central government, on the other hand, argued that the state government should not interfere in the high court's order and that the appeal filed by the state government and the NGO was devoid of merit.