Kerala: Ordinance to dilute Lokayukta Powers

Kerala government has decided to bring an ordinance for amending the “Kerala Lokayukta Act”, so that it would have the powers of rejecting report of anti-corruption body.

Highlights

  • State cabinet recently recommended to the governor to issue ordinance for amending Kerala Lokayukta Act, 1999.
  • The amendment seeks to give powers to the government for either accepting or rejecting the verdict of Lokayukta, after providing an opportunity of being heard.
  • According to proposed amendment, Lokayukta would have only the powers of making recommendations or sending reports to the government.

The Lokayukta

Lokayukta is the Indian Parliamentary Ombudsman. He is executed into power for each of the State Governments in India. It is brought into effect through the Lokayukta Act. A person of reputable background is nominated for the post, which is created to address grievances quickly, against working efficiency and integrity of the government or its administration. Lokayukta cannot be dismissed or transferred by the government, once he is appointed. He can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by state assembly.

First State to introduce Lokayukta

Maharashtra became the first state to introduce the institution of Lokayukta through “Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act” in 1971. Maharashtra was followed by similar acts enacted by states of Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Delhi. Powers of Lokayukta in each state are different.

Who appoints the Lokayukta?

The Lokayukta is appointed by Governor of the State. He is appointed through nomination by its Chief Minister, in consensus with Chief justice of State High Court, Leaders of Opposition in Legislative Assembly & Legislative Council, Chairman of Legislative Council and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Who is eligible for appointment?

Retired Chief Justice, or Judge, or a retired judge of the High Court is eligible for the post of Lokayukta.

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