Mehta refuses Gujarat lokayukta post

Justice R.A. Mehta, whose appointment as the Gujarat lokayukta was opposed by Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, on Wednesday declined to assume office, saying the controversy has “denigrated” the office of the anti-corruption watchdog.
A retired Gujarat high court judge, Mr Mehta, blasted the Modi government for calling him “biased” and “anti-government” while opposing his appointment.
A lokayukta unwanted by the government cannot get all the necessary and timely support from it, he said in a letter to Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal, who had appointed him, triggering a stand-off with the Modi government.
Maintaining that the “appointment has lost all the grace and dignity”, the former judge said he was withdrawing his consent as “he could not persuade himself to accept the office of lokayukta”.
“I humbly withdraw my consent for the appointment as the Gujarat lokayukta and decline to assume the office. Kindly accept my request and relieve me,” Mr Mehta said in his 7-page letter.
“I am averse to any controversy and try to keep away. The present controversy has denigrated the office of the lokayukta and adversely affected its credibility. The appointment has lost all the grace and dignity,” he said.
By-passing the state government, governor Beniwal had appointed Mr Mehta as lokayukta on August 25, 2011. This was followed by a legal battle which lasted almost two years as the state government sought to overturn his appointment and contested it till the last remedy of a curative petition was rejected by the Supreme Court.

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