New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed Gujarat government's petition seeking review of its judgement upholding the appointment of Justice (retd) RA Mehta as the state Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal.
A bench comprising justices BS Chauhan and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla did not find merit in the review petition filed by the state government against the January 2 verdict. The petition had sought a re-look into the judgement which had dismissed the Narendra Modi government's plea that the appointment of Lokayukta was illegal as it was done without consulting it.
The same bench in its verdict on January 2 had given primacy to the opinion of the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice on the appointment issue by disagreeing with the state's contention that the governor could not appoint Lokayukta without its advice.
In the review petition, the Gujarat government had cited another judgement of the apex court delivered on January 11 in which it said the chief minister, and not the chief justice of the high court, will have primacy in selecting a person for the post of Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta if the state law includes the chief minister in the consultation process carried out before the governor makes the appointment.
Sharp differences over Mehta's appointment between Modi and the governor had triggered a constitutional crisis in the state. The governor had held her ground asserting that her decision was based on consultations with the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice.
The apex court, which upheld the appointment, had also faulted the governor saying she "misjudged her role" for appointing Mehta without holding consultations with the state government.