In the continuing tug of war between the Narendra Modi government and the governor, the state assembly on Tuesday passed the Gujarat Lokayukta Ayog Bill 2013 for a second time without incorporating any major changes sought by Raj Bhavan, setting the stage for a fresh confrontation.
Governor Kamla Beniwal had on September 3 returned the bill, passed by the assembly on April 2, to the government for reconsideration, dubbing the legislation as “complete mockery of the judicial process and detrimental to the interests of public welfare”.
The contentious new Bill seeks to establish the primacy of the chief minister and the government in the appointment of anti-corruption watchdog.
The Bill, piloted by finance minister Nitin Patel, was passed by the House amid protests. In the existing Gujarat Lokayukta Act 1986, the power of selection of lokayukta is vested with the governor and the CJ of the high court. The new bill provides for the appointment by a six-member committee headed by the CM.