UP gets new lokayukta as SC cancels its earlier order

Justice Virendra Singh replaced by justice Sanjay Mishra

GN Bureau | January 28, 2016

In another unprecedented action the supreme court today recalled its earlier order on Uttar Pradesh lokayukta and issued a fresh order of appointment.

The apex court bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla Pant appointed justice Sanjay Mishra, a former judge of the Allahabad high court, as the lokayukta of UP, while recalling their December 16, 2015 order appointing justice Virendra Singh for the post.

The court has cancelled the choice it made for the lokayukta or ombudsman and said justice Singh will be replaced. At a hearing just a few days ago, the court had indicated it would pick a new ombudsman after strong objections against the candidate it had selected just a month ago.

Recalling the sequence of events leading to the appointment of Singh as the lokayukta in December, the court regretted that constitutional authorities —— the chief minister, the leader of opposition (LoP) and the chief justice of the Allahabad high court —— despite prolonged meetings could not decide on a simple issue of the appointment of lokayukta.

In an unusual order, the court on December 16 exercised its constitutional authority and appointed justice Singh after the state government had failed to comply with its orders.

However, the court had on January 20 reserved its verdict after pleas seeking recall of its order, saying it has been "misled" on the issue.

During the winter vacation, the supreme court had heard a fresh plea filed by one Sachidanand Gupta who had alleged that the SP government had "concealed facts" about Justice Singh and "played fraud" upon the apex court.



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