Buch to take oath as Gujarat Lokayukta on Wednesday

JUSTICE (retired) D P Buch will take oath as the new Lokayukta on Wednesday. Governor Kamla Beniwal will administer the oath to Buch at a function to be held at Raj Bhavan on Wednesday morning. Gujarat gets a Lokayukta after a long gap of a decade. 

The Council of Ministers, which approved the name of Justice (retd) D P Buch  on the recommendation of Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and the Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela, had forwarded it to Beniwal for her approval. Beniwal had accepted his name and had issued a warrant in this regard on November 28.

The Gujarat cabinet, on November 26, had finalised the name of Buch as the new Lokayukta under the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986. The appointment of Buch comes three months after Justice (retired) R A Mehta refused to take up the post that had been mired in controversy, with the government and the governor at loggerheads over the process of his selection done by Beniwal without consulting the council of ministers in 2011. 

Giving verdict against the Gujarat government, the Supreme Court (SC) had upheld the appointment of Mehta. A new bill - Gujarat Lokayukta Commission Bill 2013 - which dilutes the roles of Governor and Chief Justice in the appointment process by making Chief Minister the chairman of the Selection Committee for Lokayukta, has been pending with the Governor. The bill, which was returned by the Governor with special remarks, was passed in the monsoon session again with minor changes and forwarded to the Governor for her approval. Buch, 72, was confirmed as permanent judge of the HC in December 2001 and had retired in August 2004. A native of Veraval in Junagadh district, Buch is a science graduate, who joined the judicial services as a Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate First Class.

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