Gandhinagar: The Narendra Modi-led government in Gujarat on Wednesday said that it would implement the Supreme Court's judgement to uphold State Governor Kamla Beniwal's decision to appoint Justice (retired) R A Mehta as Gujarat Lokayukta.
"We will soon implement the Supreme Court judgement on Lokayukta," said Gujarat Law Minister Bhupindersinh Chudasama.
"The Supreme Court has accepted Gujarat government's contention that governor has to act as per the advice of the council of ministers," he added.
A detailed reaction on the issue could only be given after reading the judgement, Chudasama said.
In a setback to the Gujarat government, the Supreme Court upheld Mehta's appointment as the state Lokayukta, saying it was done in consultation with the Chief Justice of Gujarat HC.
The governor was bound to act under advice of council of ministers, but in this case the appointment was not wrong since it was done in consultation with the high court Chief Justice, the apex court said.
Governor Kamla Beniwal had on August 25 last year appointed Justice Mehta to the post of Lokayukta, which had been lying vacant for the last eight years.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday downplayed the Supreme Court"s decision to reject the Modi Government"s challenge of the appointment of Justice (Retd.) R.A. Mehta as the Gujarat Lokayukta, saying it cannot be said to be a setback, and added that the outfit would respond to it only after going though a copy of the apex court"s judgement.
"See, it is the verdict of the court, it cannot be said to be a setback. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will give any reaction only after studying the verdict. We have not yet received the copy of the judgement, we are looking into it," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.
Launching a frontal attack on Modi, the Congress Party had earlier in the day said the Supreme Court"s verdict proves beyond doubt that dictatorship was prevailing in Gujarat.
Congress General Secretary B.K. Hariprasad said the apex court"s verdict regarding the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat proves that the decision taken by Governor Kamla Beniwal is perfect.
"And, it has proved beyond doubt, that in Gujarat, there was no democratic norms and practice. And, it has proved beyond doubt, that in Gujarat, that dictatorship was prevailing," he added.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi also welcomed the Supreme Court"s verdict, saying it is unfortunate that there was no Lokayukta in Gujarat for the last eight years.
"And, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Gujarat made all attempts to ensure that a Lokayukta in Gujarat is not appointed, they even demanded that the state Governor should be called back," he added.