New Delhi, Jul 18: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's last hope for quashing of Justice (retd) R A Mehta's appointment as Lokayukta was dashed today with the Supreme Court dismissing the state government's curative petition for re-examining its verdict upholding the selection.
A five-judge bench headed by outgoing Chief Justice Altamas Kabir did not find merit in the curative petition filed by the Modi government after dismissal of review petition and appeal against the Gujarat High Court's decision holding Justice Mehta's appointment by Governor Kamla Beniwal as valid and legal.
Curative petition, which is decided generally in judges' chamber, by the three senior most judges and the judges who delivered the impugned judgement, is the last procedural resort for a party to seek redressal against the apex court verdict.
The bench, also comprising justices P Sathasivam, G S Singhvi, B S Chauhan and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla dismissed the curative plea of Gujarat which was filed after its petition seeking review of the January 2 verdict was dismissed.
A bench comprising justices B S Chauhan and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla had not found merit in the review petition filed by the state government.
The petition had sought a re-look into the judgement which had dismissed the Modi government's plea that the appointment of Lokayukta was illegal as it was done without consulting it.
The same bench in its verdict on January 2 had given primacy to the opinion of the High Court Chief Justice on the appointment issue by disagreeing with the state's contention that the governor could not appoint Lokayukta without its advice.
In the review petition, the Gujarat government had cited another judgement of the apex court delivered on January 11 in which it said the chief minister, and not the chief justice of the high court, will have primacy in selecting a person for the post of Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta if the state law includes the chief minister in the consultation process carried out before the governor makes the appointment.
Sharp differences over Mehta's appointment between Modi and the governor had triggered a constitutional crisis in the state.
The governor had held her ground asserting that her decision was based on consultations with the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice.
The apex court, which upheld the appointment, had also faulted the governor saying she "misjudged her role" for appointing Mehta without holding consultations with the state government.