The High Court of Sikkim has turned down the writ petition filed by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha functionaries challenging the appointment of the chairperson of the Lokayukta. Delivering its judgment on the petition filed SKM MLAs Kunga Nima Lepcha and Ugen Nedup Bhutia and Lok Nath Sharma challenging appointment of Lokayukta Chairman Justice [retd] Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta, the High Court division bench of Justice SP Wangdi and Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai observed that the Court did not find any merit in the writ petition and that the petitioners had failed to make out any case for the Court to interfere with the proceedings of the selection committee on whose recommendation the chairperson of the Sikkim Lokayukta was appointed. It may be recalled that the court had earlier reserved its verdict on the case, and the same was pronounced today.
The petitioners had challenged the composition of the selection committee and through that prayed for the quashing of the warrant of appointment of Chairman of Lokayukta dated 07 May, 2014 issued by the Governor appointing Justice [retd] Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta as Lokayukta Chairman.
The Court did however observe that the second part of Section 4 (1) (d) of the Sikkim Lokayukta Act, 2014 which deals with how the selection committee is to be staffed, appeared to be quite vague and having the possibility of several interpretations.
The court has opined that there is a need to give clarity to the provision by laying down a criterion for determining the term “senior most member of the Legislative Assembly” occurring in the provision to overcome the present ambiguity and adds that it would not be within judicial domain to do so as it lies in the field of legislation.
The division bench expressed hope and said that it expects the State Government will introduce a suitable amendment to the Act inserting either an explanation to make Section 4 (1) (d) or such other provision laying down a criterion for determining “senior most member of the Legislative Assembly”.