'Intolerance' is a political issue, says Guj Lokayukta

Posted By: PTI
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Gandhinagar, Nov 26: Amid the raging controversy over the issue of 'intolerance' in India, Gujarat Lokayukta Justice (retd) D P Buch today said intolerance is a political issue and does not fall under the purview of law.

"Intolerance is not an issue of law. According to me, it is a political issue and I don't wish to comment further," Justice Buch said when asked about his views on 'intolerance' in context of the 'rule of law'.


He expressed the opinion after his lecture on the 'Importance of Rule of Law in Civilised Society' at an institute here.

During his lecture, organised at United world School of Law here on the occasion of 'National Law and Constitution Day', the retired High Court judge referred to the controversial issue surrounding the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat some years back, to make the students understand the concept of 'rule of law'.

"Three years back, the then state Governor (Kamla Beniwal) issued a notification to appoint a particular person (retd Justice R A Mehta) as Lokayukta of Gujarat. However, state government was not happy with the Governor's order. Then, a petition was filed before High Court challenging that order," Justice Buch said.

"At that time, a doubt was raised that can the government challenge order of Governor? Can the Governor be made a party in a judicial case? Finally, it was accepted that petition cannot be filed against Governor, but their orders can be challenged in court. This is rule of law," he said, adding that the writ petition was then entertained by the court.

He was referring to the appointment of Justice (retd) R A Mehta by the then Governor Kamla Beniwal in 2012, when Narendra Modi was the state Chief Minister.

Apart from the legal battle, this issue had brought Modi and Beniwal at loggerheads. In October 2013, the Gujarat Assembly passed a Bill seeking to replace the existing Gujarat Lokayukta Act of 1986. Later, the state government appointed Justice Buch as the Lokayukta in November 2013.


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