Current Affairs

HC commences Goa Lokayukta Appointment Case hearing

A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice A.P. Lavande and Justice U.V. Bakre today commenced hearing arguments on the petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues challenging the appointment of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy as Goa’s first Lokayukta. The arguments which remained inconclusive will continue tomorrow.

Initiating his arguments Adv. Aires Rodrigues today submitted before the High Court that Sudershan Reddy’s entire selection and appointment process as Lokayukta of Goa was unlawful and not in accordance with law.

Adv. Rodrigues submitted that the Goa Government instead of requesting the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court to recommend names for the post of Lokayukta, had high-handedly and unlawfully appointed a search committee headed by Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni to select the Lokayukta.

Pointing out that Sudershan Reddy was selected as Lokayukta by an unlawful search committee appointed by the government which was headed by Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni, Adv. Rodrigues argued that the Lokayukta being a quasi-judicial authority, the selection and appointment had to be on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers, with the primacy vested in the Chief Justice.

Adv. Rodrigues further argued that the entire selection process was not transparent as the intention of the Government was to select and appoint a Lokayukta of the choice of the ruling party and of its Chief Minister.

Adv. Rodrigues further submitted that the consultation  process by the Chief Minister with the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and the Leader of the Opposition was not a meaningful consultation as required by law but was reduced to a mere formality and a glaring eye wash.

On the other hand Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni and Government Advocate Dattaprasad Lawande argued that the appointment of Sudershan Reddy was lawful and should not be interfered with. With the Advocate General having completed his arguments today Adv. Aires Rodigues will respond tomorrow to the points raised by the Advocate General.

It may be recalled that Justice Sudershan Reddy was sworn in as Lokayukta of Goa on 16h March amidst public protests. All the Opposition parties boycotted his swearing in ceremony which was held at Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula and was also not attended by many Ministers and ruling party MLAs.

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