The new Bill seeks to give all powers regarding the appointment of the state Lokayukta to the Chief Minister, ending the role of the Governor and the Chief Justice of the High Court in appointing the ombudsman. And according to sources, the Governor, in her two-page communication to the government, had suggested a review of almost all the new provisions of the Bill which aimed at replacing the existing Gujarat Lokayukta Act.
The Governor and Modi had clashed over this earlier too. The Lokayukta position was lying vacant for eight years until the appointment of Justice RA Mehta in August 2011. Justice Mehta's appointment was unsuccessfully challenged by Modi's government first in the Gujarat High Court and later in the Supreme Court.
The Governor has rejected and sent back the proposed Gujarat Lokayukta Commission Bill to the State Assembly.
"The Governor has not given her assent to Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013, which was passed in the state Assembly in April this year, and has sent it back to the government for review," state government spokesperson and Finance Minister Nitin Patel said.
Lokayukta position was lying vacant for eight years
Patel declined to elaborate the grounds on which the Governor sent the Bill back to the government. "We have just received the communication from the Governor and we are yet to go through it. So, at this point, we don't exactly know that on what points the review has been sought," he said.
On April 2, state Assembly had passed the bill, which aims to curtail the power of Governor and chief justice of the high court in the appointment of the corruption watchdog.
With inputs from PTI