Government trying to give away powers of the Lokayukta to bureaucrats, says Shettar

The former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar has alleged that the State government is trying to push through the Lokayukta Bill under pressure from some sections.

He told presspersons here on Sunday that the Bill had provisions to place the Lokayukta police cell under the State Vigilance Commission, which was being headed by an IAS officer. The government was trying to give away powers of the Lokayukta to bureaucrats, he said.

Mr. Shettar said several IAS officers had been named in the report submitted by the then Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde on illegal mining. “This Bill has been framed only after bending to the pressure of bureaucrats and it is an attempt to protect them. The government hurrying to place the Bill in the house leads to suspicions,” he said.

‘Will weaken system’

The Lokayukta Act had provisions to empower people to file complaints against officials. But this had been removed in the new Bill, which would weaken the Lokayukta system as a whole, he added.

Referring to the corruption charges against Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, Mr. Shettar said it was for the first time in the history of the State that serious corruption charges had been levelled against a Chief Secretary. The State government should consider the issue seriously and take action, failing which the BJP would organise State-wide protests urging Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s intervention, Mr. Shettar added.

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