Odisha sets example, first state to enact Lokayukta law in India

The Bill was passed after rigorous two day debate in the assembly

sanjay-behera

Sanjay Behera | February 15, 2014



While the 49 day old Kejriwal Delhi government came to a dramatic end as the Jan Lokpal bill proposal was defeated in the assembly by the Congress and the BJP, Odisha became the first state in country to enact a law for the creation of a Lokayukta Act. The law will probe corruption charges against the public functionaries, including the chief minister and other ministers.

However, vigilance and anti-corruption wing of the state government will not be under the superintendence and control of the Lokayukta.
Former chief minister, ministers, MLA, government officers, heads of panchayats, municipalities, trusts receiving government grants, supply and outsourced agencies have also been brought under its purview of investigation. A selection committee comprising chief minister, leader of opposition, speaker of the assembly, chief justice of the high court or any judge nominated will select the Lokayukta.

After two days of rigorous debate, the 14th assembly passed the Odisha Lokayukta Bill on Friday evening. The six member anti-graft body is to be headed by a chairperson, who is or has been a chief justice or judge of a high court.  The Bill was passed unanimously in the assembly with the Odisha government accepting several amendments brought by the Congress members.

The Congress members including leader of the opposition and MLA Bhupinder Singh and Prasad Harichandan stressed that a robust fight against corruption cannot be launched unless the vigilance is not made independent and kept out of the control of the state government.  Without vigilance under the Lokayukta, it can never be a strong anti-corruption watchdog and would remain toothless, they stated.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das, who piloted the Bill for chief minister Naveen Patnaik, said Lokayukta will go a long way to bring corruption under control. The minister accepted an amendment brought by Congress MLA Prasad Harichandan on the powers of the Lokayukta. The Lokayukta will have the power of superintendence and direction over any investigating agency including vigilance and the crime branch relating the investigation ordered by it under the Act, Das said.

The state government will constitute many special courts, as recommended by the Lokayukta, to hear and decide the cases arising out of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, or under the Lokayukta Act. The trial of the cases will be completed within a year from the date of filing of the case.
The Lokayukta cannot investigate or inquire a case, if the complaint is made after the expiry of seven years from the date on which the offence was committed. It also cannot take up a case suo motto cognizance unless a complaint is made within the stipulated period of seven years.

The Lokayukta will constitute an inquiry wing headed by a director for the purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry into any offence by public servant brought before it. The Lokayukta will also constitute a prosecution wing headed by the director of prosecution who is or has been in the rank of director of public prosecution of the state. The state government will make available such number of officers and other staff are required by the Lokayukta will prosecution wing is constituted.
 

 

 

Comments

 

Other News

The dirt in the diamond trade

The dazzling diamond trade has been hit hard by the Nirav Modi episode, which saw the billionaire jeweller flee India just before a massive fraud amounting to Rs 11,000 crore was detected at a Punjab National Bank branch in Mumbai. But, Nirav Modi is not the only diamond tycoon who has been

PM lays foundation stone for Navi Mumbai International Airport

PM Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for Rs 16,700 crore Navi Mumbai International Airport. The first phase of the construction is expected to be completed by December 2019. The project is going to be implemented 21 years after it was first proposed. The airport is likely to handle 10 milli

Health groups irked by the SC order on vaccine PSUs

Health groups have expressed their disappointment with a February 12 order of the supreme court, refusing to review or recall an earlier order disposing off a case against the mala fide suspension of the vaccine public sector units (PSUs) and government’s tendency to pamper private sector with public

Cut government stake below 50% in banks: Assocham

The Punjab National Bank`s fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,300 crore should act as a strong trigger for the government for reducing its stake to less than 50 percent in the banks which should then be allowed to work on the lines of private sector lenders with a full sense of accountability to their sha

Tightrope walking meets poll dance

Budget 2018, forecast to be a “please all” budget, has come out as a “disappoint all” budget. The public is looking askance at a budget that gives with one hand but takes away with both, the Sensex has gone into a tailspin and the pink papers are issuing dire warnings.

Should public sector banks be privatised?

Should public sector banks be privatised?

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter