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Stalemate over appointment of UP Lokayukta continues

Governor Ram Naik rejects fourth time choice of the ombudsman

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

The stalemate over the appointment of the next Lokayukta in Uttar Pradesh continues with governor Ram Naik refusing to give his assent to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's choice for the quasi-judicial post.

Naik today returned to the state government, the file seeking his nod for Justice (retired) Ravindra Singh for the Lokayukta's post. This is the fourth time that the governor has returned the file on the contentious issue.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had fixed the deadline of August 22 for filling up the state Lokayukta's post.

Both the governor and the CM have stood their ground over the past several weeks. While, the government remains firm on its decision over Ravindra Singh's name, Naik has also not acceded ground claiming he was not bound to accept the recommendations of the state cabinet in this regard.

Returning the file to the state government, Naik observed the CM, leader of the opposition in UP assembly Swami Prasad Maurya and Allahabad High Court Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud should hold consultations and recommend some other name to the Raj Bhawan for approval.

Naik maintained the government had not followed due process of law regarding consultations before recommending the name of Ravindra Singh for the state Lokayukta.

In his letter, the governor also mentioned that the HC chief justice had opinied that the fair and free functioning of the Lokayukta could be compromised over Ravindra Singh's purported close relations with the ruling dispensation. As such, his name should not be considered.

The current incumbent Justice (retired) N K Mehrotra has completed 9 years as UP Lokayukta, which is the longest term ever in India for the ombudsman's post. Soon after coming to power in March 2012, the Akhilesh Yadav government had sought extension of the ombudsman's term from six to eight years.

First Published: Tue, August 25 2015. 15:54 IST