TN to have Lokayukta soon, bill likely in Assembly tomorrow

TN to have Lokayukta soon, bill likely in Assembly tomorrow

The Tamil Nadu government is likely to move the Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly on Wednesday. Reports said the Bill is expected to be passed after discussion on 9 July – last day of this session.

The Supreme Court had set July 10 as the deadline for all states to form Lokayukta.

In the last hearing in April, the apex court had pulled up Tamil Nadu when it cited the presence of directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) as reason for not pushing Lokayukta in the state. The court rejected the state’s argument that DVAC was equipped to probe corruption involving people in public office.

A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the TN chief secretary’s contention that the State was waiting for Centre to constitute a Lokpal and said, “The State government’s reply does not have legs to stand.”

The SC had directed the chief secretaries of 12 states to file reports explaining why they had not appointed Lokayuktas and to reply within two weeks as to what steps had been taken towards making the appointment.

Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal were asked to specify reason for non-appointment of Lokayukta, as mandated by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

During the resumed hearing state after state filed brief affidavits and sought time to comply with the directions. Counsel for Tamil Nadu K.V. Vijayakumar submitted that the state was awaiting the Centre’s decision on appointment of Lokpal to constitute Lokayukta in the state. After examining as to how the Lokpal functions, the state would take steps to appoint Lokayukta.