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SC firmly tells UP Govt. to appoint Lokayukta by Wednesday

New Delhi, Dec.14 : The Supreme Court pulled up the Government of Uttar Pradesh on Monday for delaying the appointment of a Lokayukta despite its order given last week.

The apex court asked the state government to appoint the Lokayukta by Wednesday.

On Friday, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh government asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for non- compliance of its order to appoint a new Lokayukta in the state.

A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana had then sought a response from the state on a fresh contempt petition alleging that despite the apex court’s orders to find a suitable replacement for the current Lukayukta, no appointment had been made so far.

On April 24, last year, the court had upheld the constitutional validity of amendment in UP Lokayukta Act for fixing eight-year tenure for the anti-corruption ombudsman.

It had also directed the state government to take steps for selecting new incumbent of Lokayukta Justice (retd) N K Mehrotra within six months.

The apex court, in July this year, had taken note of a contempt petition alleging non-compliance of its on April 24, 2014 order and directed the state to do the needful within 30 days.

The fresh contempt plea, filed by Sachidanand Gupta, alleged disobedience by the state government.

Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for Gupta, said that the state administration needed to be issued the contempt notice for its brazen defiance of the orders.

Earlier, Justice Mehrotra was appointed as Lokayukta on March 16, 2006 for six years and later, the government granted him a two-year extension by amending the Act under which the tenure was extended to eight years or till a successor took over. While upholding the constitutional validity of the amendment to the UP Lokayukta Act, the court had directed the state government to take steps to select a new ombudsman within six months. (ANI )