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UP CM under Lokayukta? SC seeks UP govt reply

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Feb 12, 2019, 6:12 am IST
Updated : Feb 12, 2019, 6:12 am IST

The Lokayukta has to be equipped with more powers and mechanism to probe corruption complaints against public servants.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath
 Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition for a direction to include the office of the chief minister under the ambit of the Lokaukta Act.

A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjeev Khanna issued notice on a petition filed by Shiv Kumar Tripathi pointing out that several institutions including the CM’s office had been kept out of the purview of the Lokayukta Act.

The petitioner alleged that the Lokayukta Act in the state is not effective and powerful to serve the purpose and object for which it was enacted. It was passed to make provision for investigation of the grievances and allegation against ministers, legislators and other public servants. However, the Lokayukta or Upalokayukta cannot conduct any investigation under this Act except on a complaint made in accordance with the provisions relating to filing of complaints.

The Lokayukta is not competent to proceed against the chief minister for any corrupt action in which he has been found guilty of favouritism, nepotism or lack of integrity. There is a need to bring the CM under the purview of Lokayukta for proceeding against him for corruption.

The Act is not effective in the matter of investigation against corrupt public servants. The Lokayukta has to depend on the police authorities, which are under the control of the State government, and there is no independent investigation mechanism. The Lokayukta has to be equipped with more powers and mechanism to probe corruption complaints against public servants.

Further institutions like universities had been left out of the ambit of Lokayukta and these institutions should also be covered under the law and administrative control should be vested with Lokayukta for conducting independent and fair investigation. There is no time limit for Lokayukta to submit its report to the Governor. Hence the present petition for a direction to the State to amend the law to bring CM as well as various other institutions under the Lokayukta and also to grant more investigative powers.

Tags: supreme court, yogi adityanath, lokaukta act