After the Supreme Court upheld the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat by the governor Dr Kamla on Wednesday, now the question being asked is when will justice (retd) RA Mehta take charge.
While justice Mehta refused to answer despite repeated questioning, sources said he may take oath this weekend. “I have not yet decided. I am waiting to read the order,” he said.
In its order, the Supreme Court has asked Mehta to take charge immediately and also asked the state government to provide “all facilities office, staff etc” and “render all cooperation” for the Lokayukta to work.
According to unconfirmed reports on Wednesday, Mehta was being pressured to withdraw and refuse to take charge.
When DNA asked him if he was considering this, he refused to confirm or deny. “There has been no direct pressure,” he said.
Sources said over the last two years he has dealt with such attempts and not succumbed. “Now that the apex court has upheld his appointment, he is unlikely to dither,” a source close to the developments said.
A reliable source said the governor had given Justice Mehta an invitation letter along with the appointment letter in August 2011 when she took the decision.
“He (Mehta) had refused to take oath as the Modi government had levelled allegations against him about his ‘activist’ and political’ affiliations. That had hurt him and he said he will not take charge till the matter is subjudiced,” he said.
However, another source said the governor may have to issue a fresh invitation letter in view of the Supreme Court order, following which Mehta can take oath.
“The chief minister, Narendra Modi, will be invited for the oath taking ceremony, he may or may not choose to come, yet the process will be completed irrespective,” the source said.