Ahmedabad, The Gujarat High Court today issued notice to Lokayukta-appointee Justice (retd) R A Mehta on a petition, challenging his appointment by Governor Kamala Beniwal. ignoring the state government suggestion.
The division bench of Justices Akil Qureshi and Sonia Gokani fixed the next hearing on September 28.
The court was informed today that the notice could not be served to Justice Mehta, while other respondents- Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Justice of the High Court and the Registrar General of the High Court – were issued notices as directed earlier on September 7.
The Narendra Modi government had challenged the appointment of Justice (retd) R A Mehta as the new Lokayukta, saying that it was illegal as the Governor had bypassed the state cabinet in effecting the appointment to the post lying vacant since 2003.
Initially, the state government had made three parties, including the Governor, as respondents in its petition but the court asked it to delete the name of the Governor as a constitutional head can not be made a respondent. The Government later submitted an amended petition.
The Governor had notified the appointment on August 25 and the state government challenged it in the High Court, the next day.
The matter has become so controversial that opposition BJP stalled the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament during the Monsoon session to press its demand for the recall of Governor.