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New MP Lokayukta is Six Years Junior to his Deputy. Controversy Erupts

Gupta, who completed his services at the High Court in June this year, is six years junior to the Deputy Lokayukta UC Maheshwari who had assumed office last year in June.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:October 17, 2017, 8:11 PM IST
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New MP Lokayukta is Six Years Junior to his Deputy. Controversy Erupts
A committee headed by Chief Minister normally finalises the name of the Lokayukta, but this time, a formal proposal was sent to the leader of the opposition, Ajay Singh, who reportedly assented to Gupta's appointment. (File photo of MP Secretariat)
Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday appointed Justice (Retd) Naresh Gupta as the state Lokayukta, more than a year after the former ombudsman, PP Naolekar, completed his seven-year tenure in June 2016.

Gupta, who completed his services at the High Court in June this year, is six years junior to the Deputy Lokayukta UC Maheshwari who had assumed office last year in June.

The anti-corruption activists and the Congress party raised eyebrows over Gupta's appointment. Terming the appointment as controversial, Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha tweeted that Gupta was six years junior to deputy Lokayukta, expressing surprise as to how the Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice and Leader of Opposition accepted such a transgression.

A committee headed by Chief Minister normally finalises the name of the Lokayukta, but this time, a formal proposal was sent to the leader of the opposition, Ajay Singh, who reportedly assented to Gupta's appointment.

Alleging breach of norms in the appointment of Lokayukta, anti-graft activist Ajay Dubey said that he would move the Supreme Court on the matter, adding that his petition regarding the transparent process of the appointment of Lokayukta was pending with the HC.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Co-operative affairs Vishwas Sarang shrugged off the Congress allegations, saying that Lokayukta was appointed as per the norms. “Congress has the habit of levelling baseless allegations,” he said.

Interestingly, former SC judge PP Naolekar, who completed his seven-year term as the Lokayukta after an extension, had been a controversial figure. He was constantly targeted by the Congress and anti-graft activists for his alleged proximity to the state government.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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