Bhopal: MP high court on Monday dismissed a PIL challenging appointment of Lokayukta Justice PP Naolekar. The bench of acting Chief Justice Sushil Harkauli and justice UC Maheshwari after hearing the counsel for the petitioner found no illegality in the Lokayukta's appointment and dismissed the PIL.
The court said, "…even ex-post facto approval of the counsel of ministers would mean the advice is complete and has got no illegality."
RTI activist Ajay Dubey had moved the PIL in the principal bench of the high court, challenging appointment of Justice Naolekar as head of the state's anti-graft agency. According to him, the appointment was made in haste without following the procedure and hence liable to be set aside.
The petitioner said the file clearing Justice PP Naolekar's name traveled in lightening fast speed. All formalities were completed within 24 hours which is quite unheard of.
The PIL also questioned Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan for being party to the selection process of the Lokayukta when a case of corruption was pending before it. The participation of the CM in the selection process despite his being an accused was against the law, the petitioner said.
The government also did not get prior approval of the cabinet as per the procedure for appointment of the Lokayukta, noted the PIL.
The counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Raghavendra Kumar said one- and- half years after the appointment of Justice Naolekar as Lokayukta, the CM was exonerated in the corruption case against him. Naolekar was in the eye of a storm after he exonerated the chief minister in the dumper scam case.
The Congress demanded Lokayukta's removal from the office, saying consent of the then leader of the opposition late Jamuna Devi for appointment of Naolekar was taken fraudulently when she was admitted to a private hospital. Petitioner Dubey told the DNA he would move an appeal before the Supreme Court against the HC order.
Earlier, he had moved the SC through a PIL with the same demand but the court directed him to file the case in the high court first, citing that it was the appropriate forum.