The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed Justice Virendra Singh — former judge of the Allahabad High Court — as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh and expressed its disapproval of the way constitutional authorities mandated to appoint the ombudsman failed to discharge their responsibilities.
Noting that its earlier directions for the appointment of Lokayukta went unheeded, the apex court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N.V. Ramana “deeply regretted” the “failure if not refusal of the constitutional functionaries” to comply with the court’s order.
The court said that it was “unimpressed” by the explanation given by senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Uttar Pradesh that serious efforts were made by the collegium consisting of chief minister, leader of opposition and the chief justice of the high court to decide on a name to be appointed as Lokayukta.
Sibal earlier told the court that the three-member collegium met for five hours on Tuesday and two hours on Wednesday morning.
Sibal gave five names to the court. There was a consensus between the chief minister and leader of opposition on three names while the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court expressed no opinion.
Having recorded this, the court in exercise of its extraordinary powers appointed Justice Virendra Singh, who is at present head of the state consumer commission, as the state’s Lokayukta.