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Delhi HC tells Delhi Lt Gov to appoint lokayukta already

The Delhi high court Friday asked Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to initiate the process to fill the post of lokayukta as it has been lying vacant since November last year.A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said that the statutory provisions make it mandatory on the part of the state to ensure that the post is filled up without any delay.”We request the lt. governor, Delhi to forthwith initiate the process of filling up of the vacancy in the office of the lokayukta, Delhi,” said the bench while passing an order on a PIL filed by a lawyer Kamran Siddiqui seeking appointment of lokayukta.”The office of the lokayukta is very significant for the people of the state, as it provides for a mechanism through which the people of the state can get their grievances heard and redressed against maladministration, in a state where society suffers from moral denigration and simultaneously from rampant corruption, there must be an effective forumto check the same,” the bench said. The prevalent scenario has resulted in a situation where though there is a legislative assembly and its members, but the lokayukta, which was meant to be a watchdog inter alia over them, being non-functional or having ceased to exist - such a situation cannot be permitted, at least by this court, to prevail for long, Justice Endlaw said in the judgment.”Today, the citizens of Delhi though have their elected representatives in office in the form of members of legislative assembly of Delhi and who continue to enjoy the perks and benefits of their office, as is evident from their also availing of the Local Area Development Scheme Funds but owing to the said MLAs failing to form a government, the office of the lokayukta, constituted to inquire into allegations against them, remains vacant,” the bench observed.The court said that owing to none of the contesting political parties getting the requisite majority in the elections held in December 2013,there undoubtedly is a hiatus in the legislative assembly with there being no government and no opposition. Though the lt. governor in the matter of appointment of Lokayukta must act in accordance with the aid and advice tendered to him by the council of ministers but “we are still of the view that the Office of the Lokayukta cannot be so kept vacant,” the court said.The lt. governor, even without the aid and advice of the council of ministers would be entitled in the present situation to proceed with the filling up of the vacancy of the lokayukta, the court held.It took into note that the vacancy has to be filled up “as soon as possible but not later than six months from the date of occurrence of such vacancy”. “Here, what to talk of six months, more than ten months have already elapsed since the date of the office of the lokayukta, Delhi having fallen vacant. The legislative mandate, of the vacancy in the said office being filled up ‘not later than six months’ is clearly beingviolated,” the bench said. Regards,IANS Support Team

-- Kian Ganz Publishing Editor Legally India - News for Lawyers Tel (India): +91 900 405 6651 Twitter:

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