The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned its own decision from last month and appointed Justice Sanjay Mishra the new lokayukta for Uttar Pradesh in place of Justice Virendra Singh. Last week, the court had claimed that the UP government had misled it into appointing Singh, and that it would announce a new name for the ombudsman position. Strong objections had been raised to Singh’s appointment by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court, where Singh used to be a judge.
On Thursday, the court said, “We will deal with Uttar Pradesh”, as it blames the Akhilesh Yadav-led government in the state for pushing the bench to make the controversial appointment. The court had, in an unprecedented move, used its discretion to appoint Singh lokayukta for the state after its government failed to fill the position for more than a year. The court believed Singh was among a list of nominees suggested by a committee comprising Yadav, the leader of the Opposition Swami Prasad Maury and Justice Chandrachud.
However, both Maury and Justice Chandrachud had later claimed that they had objected to Singh’s candidature as there were questions about his integrity. The new lokayukta, Mishra, is also a former judge of the Allahabad High Court.