NEW DELHI: ”We will deal with Uttar Pradesh,” the Supreme Court warned today, saying that it will not change its decision to appoint former judge Virendra Singh as the Lokayutka or ombudsman of the state.
The judges of the top court said that without “shocking and compelling reasons”, they will not rescind the appointment they made barely a month ago.
The Supreme Court said that at the time, it had “been misled by the Uttar Pradesh government” which alleged that Justice (retired) Virendra Singh had been approved for the post by a committee that included Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Leader of the Opposition in the state, and the senior-most judge in the state, the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, DY Chandrachud.
However, the Chief Justice has complained in writing that Justice Singh lacks integrity. The Supreme Court was informed today that the Leader of the Opposition, Swami Prasad Maurya of Mayawati’s BSP had also opposed Justice Singh’s candidature.
After Uttar Pradesh missed multiple deadlines for more than a year to appoint a Lokayukta, leaving the state without an ombudsman to handle cases of corruption against government officers, the Supreme Court intervened in December and picked Justice Singh from a list of five nominees that were being considered by the selection committee headed by the Chief Minister.
The judges said they had been told by the Uttar Pradesh government that Justice (retd) Singh was acceptable to all three members of the selection committee.