26th August 2011
BJP exposed. Gujarat Governor appoints Lokayukta. But how!?
Very surprised to read this:
In an unprecedented move, the Gujarat Governor appointed Retd Justice R A Mehta as Lokayukta of the state, bypassing the Narendra Modi-led BJP government which had kept the post vacant for the last seven years.
Personally, I'm not sure how a Governor, who is a MERE RUBBER STAMP under the Indian Constitution, can possibly undertake this action. It sounds dramatically unconstitutional at first glance.
Apparently, "Lokayukta Act says the Governor shall appoint the Lokayukta on the Chief Justice's suggestion".
That, to me, is a deeply disturbing law. For the ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES to not have the FINAL say on the appointment of any functionary paid from the public purse is a highly questionable matter.
However, I doubt Modi will have the guts to challenge this in court.
Question: This raises an even more tricky question. Can a Governor FORCE a government to pay for the Lokayukta's upkeep? What is the Lokayukta's salary? How many staff can he appoint? Who pays for his investigative charges (including travel)? Basically, where is the appropriation in the Gujarat budget? How can a Governor force the people (who are represented by Modi) to pay for something they have not appointed themselves.