LUCKNOW: The tussle between Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and the state government over appointment of Lokayukta today hit a new low with the file recommending the name of retired justice Ravindra Singh being returned by Raj Bhawan for the fifth time.
The Governor, who consulted legal experts during the last two days and closely examined the reply of the Akhileshh Yadav government, returned the file to the state government this morning, official sources said. The contents of the official communication and the reasons given by the Governor while returning the file for the fifth time were not immediately known.
While returning the file last time, the Governor had said, "I received the Lokayukta file recommending the same name and it appears that it has again been sent without completing the formality of holding the meeting of selection committee." The Governor is of the firm view that the issue concerning the appointment of Lokayukta should be resolved at the earliest while the government is of the opinion that since it has been approved by the Cabinet, Raj Bhawans need to give its assent.
In its latest reply, the government had stated that there was only a two-member committee consisting of the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for the selection of Lokayukta and the two had already held a meeting. As far as the role of the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court is concerned, the selection panel had just to consult him, the government contended.
"The Chief Justice has already been consulted. But the government is not bound by his advice and opinion," the government said in its reply. Leader of the Opposition and member of the selection committee Swami Prasad Maurya, however, insisted that consensus of all the three members was mandatory for the selection of the Lokayukta.
Earlier in July, Raj Bhawan had cleared names of candidates for four seats in the nominated members' category in the legislative Council while keeping on hold names for five other seats. These five names are still awaiting the governor's nod.