New UP govt’s first embarrassment: Bid to extend Lokayukta term fails

Mar 17 2012, 10:04 IST
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N K Mehrotra N K Mehrotra
SummaryPlan to extent term of Lokayukta falls through because of bad planning and legal lacunae.

A Desperate attempt of the Akhilesh Yadav government to give two more years to Lokayukta N K Mehrotra beyond his six-year term, which ended on Thursday, has fallen through because of bad planning and legal lacunae.

An ordinance, extending the tenure of the Lokayukta from six to eight years by amending the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta Act 1975, was approved at the very first meeting of the new cabinet Thursday evening. Later, it was sent to the Raj Bhavan, well after office hours.

By then, Governor B L Joshi had left for Delhi and Mehrotra’s term had officially ended. Also, the ordinance, drafted in unseemly haste, suffered from serious legal lacunae, sources said.

Given the sensitivity of the issue, no one was ready to comment on the matter, but sources said the government has not given up. A new ordinance, extending Mehrotra’s term restrospectively with effect from March 15, is being planned.

Sources in the Samajwadi Party said both Akhilesh Yadav and SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav are pursuing the matter through Congress leaders at the Centre.

Mehrotra, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, was appointed Lokayukta on March 16, 2002, by the then Governor TV Rajeshwar after a unanimous recommendation by then Chief.

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