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"Gujarat Government reveals the chronology in the Lokayukta issue"
"Gujarat Government sheds light on the truth in the Lokayukta case"
"Gujarat Governement has sincerely tried to appoint a Lokayukta right from the start"

Appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat: Hard Facts and Sequence of Events

The sequence of events as a matter of fact right from the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat, as per different aspects of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, with a view to intentionally creating controversy and spreading canards, heaping all blames onto the State Government, are as follows:
  • The State Government has made continuous efforts for the appointment of Justice R.A. Mehta as the Lokayukta after the Supreme Court’s final order. Since the very beginning, Justice R.A. Mehta had intentionally expressed the desire not to join as a party during the entire legal proceedings in Gujarat High Court or the Supreme Court. This shows his predetermination not to accept the job since very beginning.
  • And, yet, he sent letters to the Governor and the Chief Justice of India, blaming the Government for not accepting the job, and leaked the letter to the Mass Madia, unbecoming of a legal expert.
  • The true report presented herein is self-explanatory. The present Government has all along faithfully followed a clear policy in the process of appointment of Lokayukta despite several obstructions.
  • Seven years ago in 2006, the State Government had in a letter to the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court sought his opinion and comments on suggestion of ex-Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court Justice Mr. K.R. Vyas as Lokayukta of Gujarat. The Governor was also requested to suggest appointment of Justice Mr. K.R. Vyas. The request was returned by Raj Bhawan after a few months with certain queries.
  • The Governor was requested again with explanations to the queries to recommend the name of Justice Mr. K.R. Vyas. Even this was also promptly returned by the Governor.
  • In September 2009, the Governor refused the request for appointment of Justice Mr. K.R. Vyas as the Lokayukta, along with sending a confidential letter to Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court to suggest a panel of names for the Lokayukta of Gujarat. Immediately afterwards, the Chief Minister invited the Leader of the Opposition to be present at the meeting for selection of likely names. But, unfortunately, the Leader of the Opposition returned the invite. Looking to the dignity of the post of Lokayukta, the Chief Minister sent repeated invites to the Leader of the Opposition to attend the meetings, but the latter intentionally raised objections to delay the decision.
  • The Governor independently discussed the matter with the Leader of the Opposition, without intimating the Chief Minister. When the State Government sought to know the reasons for such an act, the Governor ignored.
  • When the Leader of the Opposition expressed his inability to attend a meeting convened by the Chief Minister on March 5, 2010 to carry forward the formal procedures for the appointment of the Lokayukta, the Chief Minister invited the Governor to attend the rescheduled meeting on March 8, 2010.
  • The Chief Minister convened yet another meeting on March 22, 2010 to ensure the cooperation of the Leader of the Opposition, but the latter refused to attend on the ground that he was not consulted while inviting the Governor.
  • At the formal meeting on March 22, 2010 with the Chief Minister in chair to discuss the four names suggested, the Chief Justice with reference to his letter of February 24, 2010 informed that only Justice Mr. J.R. Vora is available for the appointment and recommended his name for the post. Subsequently, the State’s Council of Minister sent the name of Justice J.R. Vora on March 31, 2010 for appointment as the Lokayukta for the Governor’s consent.
  • About five weeks later, the Governor decided to refer the matter to the Gujarat High Court without intimating the Chief Minister.
  • About seven months later, the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court informed that Justice Mr. J.R. Vora has been appointed elsewhere as the Director of Gujarat State Judicial. Obviously, the State Government was neither taken into confidence nor informed about this appointment. Rather, the Chief Justice suggested yet another name of Justice Mr. S.D. Dave for appointment as the Lokayukta.
  • While the State Council of Ministers had given its consent on the name of Justice J.R. Vora, the Governor had for the first time cared to inform the Gujarat Government on June 7, 2010 that the Governor and the Chief Justice had held a parallel process in which Justice Mr. Dave’s name had emerged as the Lokayukta of Gujarat for which immediate action be taken.
  • Following which the State Government through the Chief Minister informed the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court that the State Government considers the appointment of Justice Mr. Dave as inconsistent, inappropriate and improper as he was reluctant to take the responsibility. At the same time, the State Government called for reconsideration of Justice J.R. Vora for appointment as the Lokyaukta.
  • However, the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court ignored the State Government’s request and a through a letter dated June 7, 2011 announced the appointment of Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta. As a sequel to this, the Chief Minister sent a letter to the Chief Justice on June 16, 2011 to reconsider the name of Justice Mr. J.R. Vora whose name was also there in the panel of names as suggested by the Chief Justice.
  • On August 18, 2011, the Chief Minister again requested for suggesting to the Government the name of some other freshly retired Judge for nomination as the Lokayukta.
  • In the meantime, the Governor issued warrant on August 25, 2011 appointing Justice Mr. RA Mehta as the Lokayukta of Gujarat, in violation of administrative procedures and constitutional dignity.
  • Thus, the recommendations of the State Council of Ministers and provisions of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act were ignored during the entire procedure.
  • Was this procedure just and right?
  • The State Government was left with no other option but to file an appeal in the Gujarat High Court challenging the warrant of appointment of Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta.
It is pertinent to explain the procedures followed in the entire process
  • As per Article 163 of the Constitution, the incumbent Governor is bound to accept the Council of Ministers’ recommendations and suggestions. And, yet, the Governor appointed Mr. Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta as the Lokayukta. The Supreme Court in its judgment on January 2, 2013 noted the State Government’s arguments on this count … The Governor was wrongly given to understand that consulting the Attorney General of India, without taking the State’s Council of Ministers into confidence was as a Constitutional Head and not as the Head of the State.
  • Since the Supreme Court in its judgment of January 2, 2013 set aside the State Government’s appeal, the State Government’s Law Minister acknowledged the appointment and deputed General Administration Department Secretary Mr. K. Srinivas and State’s Advocate-General Mr. Kamal Trivedi to deliver formal invite to Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta at his residence on January 6, 2013 to inform about the State Government decision and accept the offer.
  • In deference to the Supreme Court judgment, the State Government sincerely made all efforts for the appointment of Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta to the post.
  • The designated Lokayukta Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta was given a copy of the prevalent details about the office premises and staff during the meeting at his residence on January 6, 2013. It was also conveyed to him that all necessary changes and additions would be made in the office premises after he takes ove the post.
  • The designated Lokayukta was also conveyed that adequate provisions would be made in the next State Budget for all expenses, increasing the amount from Rs.33.40-lakh as in 2009-10 to Rs.63.40-lakh.
  • Apart from all these, indent was also submitted for related arrangements for the office and a new car.
  • Thus, the State Government left no stone unturned to make all prearrangements and extended all cooperation for the Lokayukta to join duty.
  • The procedure of issuing notification and appointment were in conformity, as followed by oath of office for President of India or Governors of States or High Public Posts completed after swearing-in ceremony, and a notification to inform the public. The procedure is the same is office of the Governor, Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, etc.
  • For instance, President of India had issued warrant of appointment of Governor Dr. Shrimati Kamla on November 21, 2009, the warrant was handed over by the President’s Secretary on November 24, 2009 and Dr. Shrimati Kamla took oath of office on November 27, 2009 and the notification was issued the same day.
  • The same procedure of oath of office was being followed in this case of Lokayukta also. The Governor of Gujarat issued the warrant of appointment. No sooner than the judgment on legal procedure, the State Government sent GAD Secretary Mr. K. Srinivas as the emissary with a letter on July 26, 2013 to suggest time of swearing-in ceremony as per the incumbent’s convenience, the notification to be issued subsequently.
  • While the letter was being delivered at Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta’s residence it came to light that he had gone abroad and would return around August 6.
  • Thus, just when the State Government was making all preparations for the swearing-in ceremony and Roads & Building Department was busy building and renovating the Lolayukta Office, the designated Lokayukta sent letters to the Governor and Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court refusing the offer and releasing the letter to the Mass Media as well. How far is it reasonable and right?
What is all the more unfortunate is Justice Mr. R.A. Mehta’s seven-page letter showing insignificant reasons to refuse the post of Lokayukta with a view to intentionally satisfying his ego to foil seven years of State Government’s sincere efforts to put in place the office of Lokayukta.

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आज नेविगेशन के क्षेत्र में भारत ने अपना 7वां सेटेलाईट लॉन्च किया है | सातों सेटेलाईट, एक के बाद एक सफलतापूर्वक लॉन्च किये गए | और इस सिद्धि के कारण आज भारत दुनिया के उन पाँच देशों में आज गर्व के साथ खड़ा हो गया कि जिसमें उसकी अपनी GPS सिस्टम , उसकी अपनी नेविगेशन सेटेलाईट सिस्टम निर्मित हो गयी| आज तक हम GPS सिस्टम के लिए अन्य देशों की व्यवस्थाओं पर निर्भर थे| आज हम आत्मनिर्भर बने हैं| हमारे रास्ते हम तय करेंगे , कैसे जाना , कहाँ जाना , कैसे पहुँचना , यह हमारी अपने टेक्नोलॉजी के माध्यम से होगा |

और इसलिए भारत के वैज्ञानिकों ने आज 125 करोड़ देशवासियों को एक अनमोल तोहफा दिया है |हम जानते हैं कि आज के इस युग में जी पी एस सिस्टम का बहुत बड़ा रोल हो गया है| हमारा एक मछुआरा भी इस व्यवस्था के तहत मछली का कैच कहाँ ज्यादा है, मछली कैच करने के लिए कहाँ जाना चाहिए , shortest route कौनसा होगा यह अब भारतीय सेटेलाईट के मार्गदर्शन में काम कर पायेगा| आसमान से उसको रास्ता दिखाया जाएगा| मंजिल का पक्का address तय किया जाएगा| अब हमारे विमानों को अगर लैंड करना है तो बहुत सरलता से, accuracy के साथ अपनी भारतीय व्यवस्था से वह कर पायेंगे| कहीं कोई disaster हो गया , बहुत बड़ी प्राकृतिक आपदा हो गयी, उस स्थिति में कैसे मदद पहुंचानी है , कहाँ पहुंचानी है , specific location क्या होगा , यह सारी व्यवस्थाएं इस भारतीय उपग्रह के द्वारा जो नयी व्यवस्था विकसित हुयी है , उसके कारण लाभ मिलने वाला है| इसकी क्षमता इतनी है कि कश्मीर से कन्याकुमारी , कच्छ से कामरूप तक वह भारत के हर कोने को तो सेवा देगा ही देगा लेकिन इसके अतिरिक्त 1500 वर्ग किलोमीटर area में भी अगर कोई सेवाएं लेना चाहता है तो भी उसको यह सेवाएं उपलब्ध होंगी| कहने का मतलब यह है कि हमारे पड़ोस के जो SAARC देश हमसे जुड़े हुए हैं वह भी अगर भारत की इस सेवा का उपयोग करना चाहते हैं क्योंकि आज वे भी दुनिया के किसी न किसी देश की सेवाएं ले करके अपना गुजारा करते हैं | अब भारत भी , अगर वह चाहते हैं तो यह सेवा उनको उपलब्ध करा सकता है |

एक प्रकार से सदियों पहले हमारे नाविक समंदर में कूद जाते थे, सितारों के सहारे, चन्द्र और सूर्य की गति के सहारे वह अपनी राह तय करते थे और मंजिल पर पहुँचने का प्रयास करते थे| सदियों से हमारे नाविक अनजान जगह पर पहुँचते थे और उनका सहारा हुआ करता था आसमानी सितारों, चन्द्र और सूर्य की गति के सहारे वह अपने रास्ते तय करते थे | अब विज्ञान की मदद से हम इस सेटेलाईट और टेक्नोलोजी के माध्यम से इस काम को करने जा रहे हैं | भारत के मछुआरे, भारत के नाविक समंदर में साहस के साथ चलने वाली हमारी सदियों पुरानी हमारी परंपरा, इसने एक अनभिज्ञ जगह पर एक अनजान जगह पर जाने के रास्ते साहस के सिखाये हैं और इसलिए हजारों साल से मछुआरों ने जो साहस दिखाया है , नाविकों ने जो अदम्य साहस से दुनिया में पहुँचने का प्रयास किया है और इसलिए इस पूरी नई टेक्नोलोजी के माध्यम से मिलने वाली सेवाओं को आज हमने तय किया है कि यह सारी व्यवस्था, हमारी यह जीपीएस सिस्टम “नाविक” नाम से जानी जायेगी|

इस व्यवस्था को मैं देश के करोड़ों करोड़ों मछुआरों की सदियों पुरानी परम्पराओं को आदर्श मानते हुए देश के गराब गरीब मछुआरों को यह पूरी व्यवस्था समर्पित करने के इरादे से आज इसे ‘नाविक’ नाम से विश्व पहचानेगा और ‘नाविक’ नाम से अब यह सेवा उपलब्ध होगी| यह हमारा अपना नाविक होगा| हमारे मोबाइल फोन में हमारा नाविक होगा| जो नाविक हमें, हम कहाँ हैं उसका पता दे सकता है , कहाँ जाना है उसका रास्ता दे सकता है और कहाँ पहुँचना है , उसका भी हमें वह नाविक रास्ता दिखाएगा| और जब मैं नाविक की बात कर रहा हूँ तो, टेक्नोलोजी की भाषा में अगर मुझे कहना है तो मैं कहूँगा कि navigation satellite system जोकि Navigation with Indian Constellation, NAVIC , इस रूप में आज आपके सामने समर्पित करता हूँ|

सवा सौ करोड़ देशवासियों को आज एक नया नाविक मिल गया, नाविक जो हमें अपने रास्ते तय करने के लिए, अपना destination तय करने के लिए हमारी मौजूदगी महसूस कराने के लिए काम आएगा| यह आसमानी व्यवस्थाओं के लिए काम आएगा, यह जमीनी व्यवस्थाओं के लिए काम आएगा, यह जल की व्यवस्थाओं के लिए भी काम आएगा| हमारी shipping व्यवस्थाओं को भारत की यह सेवा ज्यादा acccuracy के साथ उपलब्ध होगी|

हमारी रेलवे ; आज हम हमारी रेल कब कहाँ है उसको जानने के लिए जीपीस का उपयोग करना पड़ता है | अब हम किस क्रोसिंग से रेल कहाँ प्रसार हुयी, कितने सिग्नल से कहाँ दूर है, कहीं रेलवे की चालू ट्रेन में कोई सिग्नल देना है , सूचना देनी है तो यह नाविक के सहारे हम दे सकते हैं| हम कार से जा रहे हैं स्कूटर से जा रहे हैं , हमारे हाथ में मोबाइल फोन है, हम नाविक के सहारे तय कर सकते हैं, कितना पहुंचे, कहाँ पहुँचना है , कहाँ खड़े हैं| एक प्रकार से जन सामान्य की आवश्यकताओं की पूर्ति का काम अब हमारे वैज्ञानिकों ने Make in India, Made in India, Made for Indian यह सपना साकार किया है | मैं आज इस शुभ अवसर पर सवा सौ करोड़ देशवासियों को अपना नाविक देते हुए अत्यंत हर्ष और गर्व अनुभव कर रहा हूँ| और मैं देश के वैज्ञानिकों को फिर एक बार कोटि कोटि बधाईयाँ देता हूँ| बहुत बहुत अभिनन्दन करता हूँ और मुझे विश्वास है कि हमारे स्पेस के साइंटिस्ट और नए करतब दिखायेंगे, और नई खोज दिखायेंगे और भारत का नाम आसमान के उन क्षितिजों को पार करते हुए विश्व में लहराएगा हमारा झन्डा, इसी अपेक्षा के साथ बहुत बहुत शुभकामनाएँ बहुत बहुत बधाई |

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