The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed Justice Sanjay Mishra, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court as new Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh. The issue concerning the appointment of state’s top ombudsmen has been earning the top court’s ire since last year. In the process, the bench also recalled its earlier order appointing Justice Virendra Singh, another former judge of Allahabad High Court as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh.
The recalling of its own order appointing Justice Virendra Singh as the Lokayukta was necessitated after Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court raised objections against the Justice Singh.
The bench of Justice Rajan Gogoi and Justice PC Panta referred to an earlier apex court judgment citing that the views of the High Court Chief Justice should be accorded primacy in such appointments.
“We are now left with serious doubts with regard to the suitability of Justice Singh as Lokayukta,” the apex court bench said while referring to the objections raised by the Chief Justice of High Court.
Exercising its constitutional authority, the Supreme Court, in an unusual order on December 16, 2015, had appointed Justice Virendra Singh as Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta.
While passing orders of appointing Lokayukta, the bench had expressed dismay after several of its earlier orders and directives over the issue were not implemented by the state government.
But the appointment was later stayed by the Supreme Court itself after it was told by a UP resident Sachidanad Gupta that the state government has played an alleged “fraud upon the apex court” by hiding the fact that the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice had expressed his reservations to the name of Justice Virendra Singh.
The two-judge bench also termed as “unfortunate” the inability of constitutional functionaries like the Chief Minister and Chief Justice of High Court to arrive at a consensual name for the post of the Lokayukta.
(With inputs from the PTI)