The Allahabad High Court today asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file its counter-affidavit on a PIL challenging the process of selection of a new Lokayukta for the state.
A division bench comprising justices Rakesh Tiwari and Mukhtar Ahmed directed the state’s Chief Standing Counsel to produce the affidavit before the court on the next date of hearing on August 11.
The order came a day after Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud recused himself from hearing the case as advocate Anoop Barnwal had challenged the selection process on the ground that the CJ was not being consulted in accordance with the Lokayukta Act.
Significantly, UP Governor Ram Naik yesterday returned the file sent to him by the Akhilesh Yadav government wherein he was apprised of a resolution passed by the cabinet recommending retired High Court judge Justice Ravindra Singh’s appointment to the post.
The Governor has asked the government to provide details of correspondence, if any, with the Leader of the Opposition in the UP Vidhan Sabha as well as the Chief Justice of the High Court.
As per Section 3 of the UP Lokayukta Act, appointment of an ombudsman for the state has to be made after due consultations with the Chief Justice as well as the Leader of the Opposition.