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Former judge RA Mehta declines to assume as Gujarat Lokayukta office

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Former judge RA Mehta declines to assume as Gujarat Lokayukta office
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Ahmedabad: Justice (Rtd) R A Mehta, who had been appointed as Gujarat Lokayukta, refused to take charge of the post.

R A Mehta, the man whose appointment as Gujarat's ombudsman or Lokayukta was stridently fought by Narendra Modi, has said that given the state government's long and expensive legal battle against him, he does not wish to take office.

"A Lokayukta unwanted by the government cannot get all the necessary and timely support from a reluctant government", Justice Mehta said in a letter to Gujarat Governor, Kamla Beniwal.

"How can I take responsibility and become the Lokayukta when my objectivity and credibility are not accepted by the government and public functionaries whose conduct the Lokayukta may have to investigate?" he said.

Last month, the Supreme Court had rejected the Gujarat government’s curative petition seeking chief minister's say in the appointment of Lokayukta as in Karnataka, paving the way for Justice Mehta to assume the prestigious office.

The Modi government’s stand has been that appointment of Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal was “illegal” as it was done without consulting the state government.

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