Kamla Beniwal

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Kamla Beniwal
Kamla Beniwal.jpg
Kamla Beniwal at the inauguration of National Museum dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Governor of Mizorom
In office
6 July 2014 – 6 August 2014 [1]
Preceded by Vakkom Purushothaman
Governor of Gujarat
In office
27 November 2009 – 6 July 2014
Preceded by S.C. Jamir
Succeeded by Margaret Alva
Governor of Tripura
In office
15 October 2009 – 26 November 2009
Preceded by Dinesh Nandan Sahay
Succeeded by Dnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil
Personal details
Born (1927-01-12) January 12, 1927 (age 87)
Gorir village, Khetri, Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan
Political party Indian National Congress (retired)
Spouse(s) Ramchandra Beniwal
Parents Netram Singh
Alma mater Maharaja College, Jaipur and Banasthali Vidyapeeth
Occupation Politician
Profession Agriculture
Religion Hinduism
Education MA (History), BA (Economics, Political Science &

History)

Kamla Beniwal (born in 1927) is an Indian politician. She was a member of Indian National Congress party. She served as a minister on different posts during different time in Rajasthan. Later she served as governor of different Indian states between 2009 and 2014. She was a governor of Tripura (2009), Gujarat (2009-2014) and Mizoram (2014). Facing charges of corruption, she was relieved of her duty just two months before her tenure was to end as a governor of Mizoram.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

She was born in the village Gaurir in Jhunjhunu district in a Jat family. She completed her BA in Economics, Political Science & History from Maharani College, Jaipur and MA in History from Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan.

Career[edit]

She was the member of Indian National Congress.

At the age of 27, she was the first female minister in Rajasthan. Kamla has been a minister in Congress governments in Rajasthan since 1954, holding various portfolios, including home, education and agriculture. She was the revenue minister in the Ashok Gehlot government.

She was appointed Governor of Tripura in October 2009. She was the first female governor of any state of Northeast India.[4] A month later, she was appointed as the Governor of Gujarat on November 27, 2009 where she served for more than four years. On July 6, 2014, she was transferred to the post of Governor of Mizoram. On August 6, 2014, President Pranab Mukherjee removed her from governorship with barely four months left for her tenure citing ‘misuse’ of office in Gujarat.[1]

Controversies[edit]

Jaipur land scam[edit]

Beniwal and many former Congress Ministers and political leaders from Rajasthan were accused that they were allocated expensive land at low prices on the basis of false affidavits and documents in Jaipur Development Authority area.[5]

Beniwal had claimed to be a farm laborer putting in 16 hours of work every day for the past 41,000 days according to the records of Kisan Samuhik Krishi Sahakari Samiti Limited (KSKSSL), a cooperative body in Jaipur, based upon which land was allocated to her.[6] The cooperatives registrar of Jaipur passed strong strictures against KSKSSL and in its inquiry concluded that the samiti's claim that they were farm labourers was false, and that the Samiti had deliberately and intentionally given false statements.[7][8][9][10]

Appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta[edit]

The Lokayukta is a state-level body for monitoring the government, particularly for corruption. In August 2011, Beniwal appointed Justice R A Mehta as the Lokayukta. She did this under Section 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, which gives the governor the right to appoint Lokayukta without consulting the government,[11] when there has been an long delay in making the appointment. In so doing, Beniwal bypassed the Narendra Modi government of Gujarat, which had been sitting on the matter since 2004.

Justice Mehta had been recommended by the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court in June 2011,[12] but the government did not act on the suggestion. In August, the father of murdered RTI activist Amit Jethwa filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court, which then served a show cause notice on the government for the delay in the appointment of Lokayukta. In response, the Gujarat state cabinet set up another committee of five ministers to look into the matter.[13]

The unilateral action of the governor was challenged in Gujarat High Court by government of Gujarat. On 18 January 2012, Lokyukta's appointment was upheld by court.[14] Next day, government of Gujarat further appealed in Supreme Court by filing a special leave petition.[15] On 2 January 2013, Supreme court too upheld the appointment [16] while noting that the Lokayukta post lying vacant for nine years reflected a "very sorry state of affairs".[17] The bench said "the process of consultation by the Governor with the then Chief Justice stood complete, and in such a situation, the appointment of Justice Mehta cannot be held illegal". It noted that the Governor is bound to act under the advice of the Council of Ministers, but the appointment of Justice Mehta is right as it was done in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. It also observed that the Governor "has misjudged her role and has insisted that under the Lokayukta Act, the Council of Ministers has no role to play in the appointment of the Lokayukta".[18]

Removal from governorship[edit]

She was removed from governorship of Mizoram in August 2014 citing her involvement in Jaipur land scam case and 'misuse' of power during her tenure in Gujarat. She travelled by state owned aircraft 63 times during her tenure in Gujarat out of which 53 times she went to Jaipur, her hometown. During her one month tenure in Mizoram, she spent only one day there and stayed at Rajasthan. Indian National Congress termed it as a 'political vendetta' as she was the Governor of Gujarat for four years during which there was Gujarat Lokayukta issue with government of Gujarat led by chief minister Narendra Modi who is current Prime Minister of India.[1][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal Axed for Misuse of Office in Gujarat". The Times of India. August 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Kamla Beniwal, governor of Mizoram, sacked". TimeOfIndia. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kamla Beniwal sacked in accordance with Constitution: M Venkaiah Naidu". TimeOfIndia. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  4. ^ NE’s first woman guv
  5. ^ "The Pioneer". Dailypioneer.com. 7 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  6. ^ TNN. "Gujarat governor, Gehlot involved in multi-crore land scam: Somaiya". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "ET report throws further light on Gujarat Governor’s land grab scam". DeshGujarat. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gujarat Guv, ex-Ministers of Cong Kamla Beniwal involved in Rajasthan’s land scam". Bharat Press. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Rajasthan Governor Kamla Beniwal accused of acquiring government land illegally". Post.jagran.com. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Rajya Sabha adjourned twice after uproar over Gujarat Guv issue". Bharat Press. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Anna man is Gujarat Lokayukta". Times of India. 27 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Is Justice RA Mehta likely to be appointed Gujarat lok ayukta? - India - DNA". Dnaindia.com. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "R.A. Mehta is Gujarat Lokayukta - Yahoo! News India". In.news.yahoo.com. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Setback for Narendra Modi, Gujarat HC upholds Lokayukta's appointment". IBNLive.IN.com. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Gujarat government challenges Lokayukta appointment in SC". IBNLive.IN.com. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Supreme Court upholds Gujarat Lokayukta's appointment". NDTV. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Apex court upholds Justice Mehta’s appointment as Gujarat Lokayukta". TEHELKA. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Setback to Modi as Supreme Court upholds Lokayukta appointment". TheHindu. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Sharma, Akhilesh (8 August 2014). "'Satisfied' With Grounds For Kamla Beniwal's Sacking, Wrote President: Sources". NDTV. Retrieved 8 August 2014.