UP CM welcomes appointment of new Lokayukta

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Lucknow, Jan 28: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to appoint retired judge of Allahabad High Court Justice Sanjay Mishra as the new anti-graft ombudsman.

"We welcome the apex court decision," Yadav told reporters when asked to comment on the new appointment.

Akhilesh Yadav

The appointment of Lokayukta in UP had snowballed into a major controversy last year with Governor Ram Naik refusing to accept the name of Justice (retd) Raveendra Singh and asking the chief minister to follow proper procedure for selecting the ombudsman.

Naik had returned the file concerning the appointment of a new Lokayukta in Uttar Pradesh to the state government a number of times, raising procedural objections.

With the apex court breathing down its neck, the UP government convened two marathon back-to-back meetings of the three-member selection committee last month but failed to arrive at a consensus.

The Supreme Court then appointed Justice Virendra Singh, but stayed its own order after being told by a UP resident Sachidanad Gupta that the state government has played a "fraud upon the apex court" by hiding the fact that the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice had expressed his reservations over his becoming the anti-graft ombudsman.

The SC today recalled its December 16 order appointing Virendra Singh, a former judge of Allahabad High Court, as Lokayukta of UP and named Mishra as the new ombudsman.

PTI

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