Guj govt to challenge HC verdict in apex court

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government today said the state High Court verdict upholding appointment of Lokayukta by Governor would be challenged in the Supreme Court following consultations with legal experts.

The Gujarat High Court, in a majority decision upheld the appointment of Lokayukta by the Governor, while dismissing the plea of the state challenging it.

"We accept the verdict of the high court. But our points remain and we will challenge this decision in the Supreme Court after consultations with legal experts," Gujarat government spokesperson and Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas said.

"We had raised two points in our petition before the high court. The first point was that the consultation process between the chief minister and the chief justice was not over and the former had written a letter to the latter on the issue," Vyas said.

"The second point we raised was- this is an issue which touches the constitutional provisions. If governors are permitted to work outside the realm of the constitutional provisions, it would become very difficult for the state governments to work," Vyas said.

"Our plea with the high court was fundamental to the safety of the federal structure and also very very central to the provision by the Constitution of India, as this decision of the Governor bypassed constraints and restraints imposed by the Constitution on the Governor`s office," Vyas said.

Asked whether it was a setback for the Gujarat government, Vyas said, "No legal judgement is a celebration or a setback. One should not read further in the judgement. We never opposed the appointment of Lokayukta."

To another question, Vyas said, "This was not the only issue that was raised in their campaign against the Governor."

"Apart from the appointment of the Lokayukta, the issues raised during the political campaign were return of the Bills passed by the State Assembly and the functioning of the Governor`s office as an office of the Congress party," he said.