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Day ahead of poll announcement, MP govt made 'Up-Lokayukt' appointment

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

The post of Up-(Deputy Lokayukta) in Madhya Pradesh's anti-watchdog was created and subsequently filled a day ahead of announcement of assembly polls by the Election Commission, documents obtained under Act show.

Within three days, the whole process of appointment from writing a letter to of High Court, seeking nomination of the suitable candidate, to finally approving the appointment was completed, the documents received in response to an query filed by transparency activist reveal.

After the documents were made public, transparency activists have raised their voice at the "lightening speed" with which the appointment was processed.

"The appointment of Up-was made within three days. It was done a day ahead of announcement of assembly polls in Why did government think of filling the post of Up-towards the end of their tenure," asked Dubey.

According to the documents, former had written to on October 3, 2018, seeking the name of a suitable candidate for the post of Up-Lokayukt.

On the same day, the high court replied to the CM's communique and recommended sitting judge, Justice Sushil Kumar Palo, who was due to retire on November 1, for the post, the documents show.

On October 5, the wrote to Lokayukt Justice N K Gupta, seeking his nod, a statutory requirement, for the appointment, which was received on the same day.

Following which, Palo's appointment was approved by the government.

An order, mentioning the government's approval for creation of the post of Up-Lokayukt and support staff, was sent to the Lokayukt's office on the same day, as per the documents.

The file was later sent to Madhya Pradesh for her approval, as per the statutory requirement.

Incidentally, the to the approved the proposal, on the direction of the governor, on October 10, according to an order that said it was done after obtaining a 'no-objection certificate' from the (as the elections were already announced by the poll body on October 6 and model code of conduct had come into force).

The cabinet gave its post-facto approval to the government on December 5, days ahead of the counting of votes on December 11.

The Kamal Nath-led government took over the reins of the state on December 17.

Meanwhile, Justice Palo took over as the second Lokayukt on November 3.

Activist Dubey said he would challenge the appointment of Up-Lokayukt in the

He said the central government is yet to set up Lokpal, nearly five years after the Act on the anti-ombudsman was passed.

"But here in Madhya Pradesh, the government acted with lightening speed to ensure appointment of second Up-Lokayukt ahead of the state elections," Dubey claimed.

The tenure of Lokayukt or Up-Lokayukt is of six years.

The Lokayukt organisation is mandated to act against acts of by employees.

There can be one post of Lokayukt and one or more Up-Lokayukts in the Lokayukt organisation.

Justice N K gupta had been working as the Lokayukt and Justice as the other Up-Lokayukt.

As per rules, Up-Lokayukt shall be appointed after consultation with Lokayukt, or where a sitting of a high court is to be appointed, the chief justice of that high court in which he is working, shall be consulted.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 10 2019. 11:50 IST