M.P. Lokayukta ap­pointed a day be­fore polls, re­veals RTI

The Hindu Business Line - - POLITICS -

The post of Up-Lokayukta (Deputy Lokayukta) in Mad­hya Pradesh’s anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog was cre­ated and sub­se­quently filled a day ahead of the an­nounce­ment of As­sem­bly polls by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion, doc­u­ments ob­tained un­der the RTI Act show.

Within three days, the whole process of ap­point­ment — from writ­ing a let­ter to the Chief Jus­tice of the Mad­hya Pradesh High Court, seek­ing the nom­i­na­tion of the suit­able can­di­date, to fi­nally ap­prov­ing the ap­point­ment — was com­pleted, the doc­u­ments re­ceived in re­sponse to an RTI query filed by trans­parency ac­tivist Ajay Dubey re­veal. Trans­parency ac­tivists have raised their voice at the “light­ning speed” with which the ap­point­ment was pro­cessed.

“The ap­point­ment of UpLokayukt was made within three days. It was done a day ahead of the an­nounce­ment of As­sem­bly polls in Mad­hya Pradesh. Why did the govern­ment think of filling the post to­wards the end of their ten­ure,” asked Dubey.

Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments, for­mer chief min­is­ter Shivraj Singh Chouhan had writ­ten to the Mad­hya Pradesh Chief Jus­tice on Oc­to­ber 3, 2018, seek­ing the name of a suit­able can­di­date for the post.

On the same day, the High Court chief jus­tice replied to the CM’s com­mu­nique and rec­om­mended sit­ting judge, Jus­tice Sushil Ku­mar Palo, who was due to re­tire on Novem­ber 1, for the post, the doc­u­ments show.

On Oc­to­ber 5, the State govern­ment wrote to Lokayukta Jus­tice NK Gupta, seek­ing his nod, a statu­tory re­quire­ment, for the ap­point­ment, which was re­ceived on the same day.

Fol­low­ing which, Palo’s ap­point­ment was ap­proved by the govern­ment.

As per the rules, Up-Lokayukta shall be ap­pointed af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with the Lokayukta, or where a sit­ting judge of a High Court is to be ap­pointed, the chief jus­tice of that High Court in which he is work­ing shall be con­sulted.

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