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Punjab Cabinet nod for Lokayukta bill covering CM

A file picture of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh addressing the Punjab Assembly in Chandigarh.

A file picture of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh addressing the Punjab Assembly in Chandigarh.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Punjab’s Cabinet on Monday approved the introduction of the Punjab Lokayukta Bill, 2020, which will cover all levels of public functionaries including the Chief Minister.

The move will entail repeal of the existing Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996, and the proposed new legislation would be applicable to the Chief Minister, Ministers, non-officials and officials of all public offices in the State, with the aim of further enhancing governance and checking corruption.

The bill envisages an autonomous body to inquire into the grievances and allegations against public functionaries in the State, and to make provisions for appointment of a Lokayukta and for the matters connected therewith, the government said in a statement.

The Lokayukta would have all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The proposed law would also provide for prosecution of a complainant in case of a false complaint. Prosecution of the Chief Minister and MLAs can be sanctioned only by a two-thirds majority of the House under the new legislation. “Further, all sanctions by the Assembly, whether or not permission to prosecute is granted, would be binding on the Lokpal,” the government added.

The Cabinet also announced emergency measures, including the setting up of flu corners in all government and private hospitals, to prepare for any exigency arising from COVID-19.

“Cabinet approved the Punjab Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, under the ambit of sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act. 1897, to combat the menace of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019),” the government said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 10:52:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/punjab-cabinet-nod-for-lokayukta-bill-covering-cm/article30964129.ece

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