SC mandate puts the focus back on Lokayukta

NEW DELHI, 19/04/2018: A view of the Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi on April 19, 2018. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

With the Supreme Court mandating certain State governments, including Tamil Nadu, to set up the Lokayukta before July 10, Opposition parties and activists are hopeful that the anti-corruption body would be set up at the earliest.

DMK working president M.K. Stalin, PMK founder S. Ramadoss and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan were among those who had welcomed the Supreme Court’s observations.

The setting up of Lokayukta alone can bring down the corruption levels since it would be an independent body.

Though there is the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption, it was not fully functional, as it was not taking on senior officials, contended P. Nakkeeran, treasurer of Arappor Iyakkam, a forum against corruption.

“While Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, provides ample powers to the State government to set up its Lokayukta, the State government is repeatedly saying it is waiting for the Centre (instructions),” Mr. Nakkeeran pointed out.

When The Hindu contacted senior Minister D. Jayakumar, who is additionally handling the personnel and administrative reforms portfolio, he said: “The government is for setting up the Lokayukta and that is why it had constituted a committee to study how it could be set up.”

Recalling his statement on the floor of the Assembly over the issue, Mr. Jayakumar said the State government was studying the Lokayuktas in all other States before setting up one in Tamil Nadu.

“The Supreme Court has made some observations and the State government will consider them,” he added.

When asked, Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam said that the Supreme Court’s observations would be taken to the Chief Minister and he would take the decision.

However, there are also some who are against the setting up Lokayukta, despite being against corruption.

Retired IAS officer M.G. Devasahayam said the Lokayukta would only turn out to be a “supernumerary.” Once set up, Lokayukta would function like Tribunals and all complaints would go from Vigilance Commission to Lokayukta, a repetition of processes, he contended.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 12:23:28 AM |

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