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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.

[Source]

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.


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15 thoughts on “BJP exposed. Gujarat Governor appoints Lokayukta. But how!?
  1. Bhagwad Jal Park

    How do you view the judiciary who are not elected representatives having the final say on many matters including the basic structure of the constitution then? They are paid from the public purse after all…
     
    Your third paragraphs would seem to imply that you want to abolish the courts…

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I meant the final say “on the appointment of” … I thought that is clear from the context, however, I’ll add it to make clear.

    To imagine that I’d want an abolition of courts is one of those furphys you seem to pull out periodically! An independent judiciary is the backbone of the classical liberal state.

     
  3. Bhagwad Jal Park

    I'm sorry, I still don't see how that clarifies it. Let me reproduce what you said:
     
    "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."
     
    Question: Do the elected representatives have the final say on members of the supreme court who are functionaries paid from the public purse?
     
    Answer – No.
     
    Therefore by definition you should have a problem with it. Either that or your statement needs ot be changed. It's only logical.
     
    Whether it's a tenet of the classical liberal state or not is irrelevant to me. I don't go by labels.

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    The chief justice of the supreme court is appointed by the president AFTER agreement by the government. On at least some occasions the government has over-ridden “expectations” that seniority will matter in such appointment. The court’s expectation that it will dictate who will be appointed is not constitutional. The elected representatives (the people) are SUPREME, and can readily transfer the power more directly to the government. That it is not done is a matter of convenience.

    S

     
  5. Bhagwad Jal Park

    The government has no say in how the judges of the supreme court are appointed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Supreme_Court#Composition
     
    When the government gets involved in the appointment of judges (like it is in the US), the independence of the judiciary is compromised. The situation in the US is horrible. Judges change with every administration and pass down blatantly political verdicts on important matters.
     
    The Indian supreme court is one of the strongest and most independent apex courts in the world. And its because politicians can't get their grubby hands into it.
     
    In fact, every institution doing good work is beyond the reach of the government. Whenever the government touches an institution, it starts to crumble.

     
  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    I’m amazed you think the Supreme court is doing “good work”. It is a chronically corrupt and conflicted body. Yes, its independence is constitutional, but it is paid by the taxpayer. To that extent the taxpayer always has the right to appoint the judges (and indeed, they do – the president is a mere rubber stamp). The EC is likewise appointed by the government.

    There is no conflict between the idea of independence and the taxpayer appointing such independent persons.

    There is, in my firm view, simply NO role for a governor to appoint any lokayukta INDEPENDENTLy of government advice. A rubber stamp cannot become a pen.

    S

     
  7. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Except that you're wrong. That's not how judges in the supreme court are appointed. Do the research yourself and see.
     
    If you don't have time, let me know and I'll give you the specific articles and references to support my claim – but please try and find out yourself. It's really very easy given today's resources.

     

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