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Activists question ‘stealthy, in the dark of night’ appointment of dy Lokayukta

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Special Correspondent

Bhopal: Even before the newly appointed Up-Lokayukta (deputy corruption ombudsman) could take oath on Tuesday, activists have questioned the ‘stealthy, in the dark of night’ appointment procedure adopted by the Madhya Pradesh government.

MP High Court judge  Umesh C Maheshwari was appointed as the deputy Lokayukta late on June 27 evening, just a day before the incumbent Lokayukta Justice (rtd) PP Naolekar was scheduled to retire (on June 28).

Justice Maheshwari was set to take oath of office on Tuesday evening.

Activist Ajay Dubey who has already filed a petition with MP High Court seeking fair and transparent process for appointment of Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta in state, has questioned the sudden appointment of Justice Maheshwari calling it ‘a stealthy move aimed at trampling the constitutional provisions’.

He has sent request through social media (Twitter) to president and prime minister of India to stop the oath taking ceremony of Up-Lokayukta, mentioning that when the matter was sub-judice as his petition is scheduled to be heard by MP HC on July 1, why did the government take a hurried move ‘in the dark of night’.

“We have indication that the government decided to appoint a Up-Lokayukta instead of finding a new Lokayukta because the deputy cannot inquire into corrupt activities of chief minister and ministers,” Dubey said while talking to 

He also said that Justice Maheshwari is known to have strong RSS and BJP links.

Dubey said that when the Up-Lokayukta post was vacant since February 2014 and the Lokayukta was on extension since a year, the government had enough time to conduct a fair and transparent process to make appointments on the two posts.

“But instead they decided to make the appointment in dark of night, taking approval from governor who is in hospital,” he said.

“We would pursue the matter till Supreme Court level if necessary and the state government is clearly trampling over the constitution,” the activist added.