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Congress questions Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta’s appointment


Bhopal : Former Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee chief and former union minister of state for personnel and parliamentary affairs Suresh Pachouri Wednesday alleged lapses in the process of appointment of state Lokayukta P.P. Naolekar.

Pachouri, through a communique, raised questions on the selection of Naolekar, a retired Supreme Court judge.

“Justice Naolekar’s appointment as Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta was made by the outgoing governor when a new governor’s appointment had already been announced,” he said.

“At that point of time, then Leader of Opposition late Jamuna Devi, who was one of the selecting authorities, was seriously ill. Unfortunately, no minutes of any formal meeting with the Leader of Opposition late Jamuna Devi (as mandated under law) are available,” he said.

Pachouri said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should not have taken part in the selection process for appointment of the ombudsman whose office was investigating a complaint against him.

“If the chief minister remained silent on this count, it amounts to suppression of facts,” he said.

“In place of a panel of names, a single name was projected for appointment as Lokayukta in the instant case,” said Pachouri.

“On a single working day – June 25, 2009 – the file concerned moved across GAD (general administration department), chief minister’s secretariat and the governor’s office,” he said.

“The recommendation to the governor for appointment of Justice Naolekar was made by the chief minister on June 25, 2009; the next day the gazette notification for the appointment was issued; but the executive summary was placed before the cabinet for approval after a long gap – Aug 13, 2009,” he said.

A petition challenging the appointment of the Lokayukta was also filed in the Supreme Court.

The petition said the ombudsman was appointed without approval from the council of ministers.