The Supreme Court on 16 December 2015 appointed a retired judge Justice Virendra Singh as Uttar Pradesh’s Lokayukta or anti-corruption ombudsman. A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice NV Ramana examined a list of five nominees and ordered for the appointment right away.
It is the first time that the Supreme Court exercised its powers to appoint a Lokayutka, after repeated orders to the state that it must appoint a new person in the position. The apex court utilised its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to enforce its own orders to do complete justice.
The Uttar Pradesh Government had given the present Lokayukta, Justice NK Mehrotra, multiple extensions, after his term ended more than a year ago.
Besides, the top court censured the inability of the constitutional authorities in the state to make the appointment despite various reminders and directions of the court.
Before the appointment of Justice Singh, the selection committee made up of Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court DY Chandrachud and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Swami Prasad Maurya had failed to agree on a name for a new Lokayukta.
The Supreme Court had first issued the order for the appointment of the Lokayukta in April 2014 when it gave six months to the state government for selecting of new incumbent of Lokayukta Justice Mehrotra.
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Who: Virendra Singh
When: 16 December 2015