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Supreme Court asks 12 states why they have not appointed Lokayukta

Supreme Court asks 12 states why they have not appointed Lokayukta

Context:

  • The Supreme Court  asked the chief secretaries of 12 states to specify why they have not appointed a Lokayukta.
  • A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi also asked the chief secretary of Odisha to apprise the court about the status of the Lokayukta in state and said the apex court has no information whether it has an anti-corruption ombudsman or not.
  • The 12 states which have been asked to give reasons for not appointing a Lokayukta are Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal.
  • The apex court also asked the 12 states to specify by when they would appoint a Lokayukta. Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, states that every state shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta.

Know about Lokayukta:

  • The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian states.
  •  Once appointed, Lokayukta can not be dismissed nor transferred by the government, and can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by the state assembly.
  • The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by Morarji Desai submitted a special interim report on "Problems of Redressal of Citizen's Grievances" in 1966. In this report, the ARC recommended the setting up of two special authorities designated as 'Lokpal' and 'Lokayukta' for the redressal of citizens' grievances.
  • The Lokayukta, along with the Income Tax Department and the Anti Corruption Bureau, mainly helps people publicise corruption among the Politicians and Government Officials.
  • Many acts of the LokAyukta have resulted in criminal or other consequences for those charged
  • Maharashtra was the first state to introduce the institution of Lokayukta through The Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act in 1971.
  •  This was followed by similar acts that were enacted by the states of OdishaRajasthanBiharUttar PradeshKarnatakaMadhya PradeshAndhra PradeshGujaratKerala and the union territory of Delhi.
  • The Maharashtra Lokayukta is considered the weakest Lokayukta due to lack of powers, staff, funds and an independent investigating agency.
  • On the other hand, the Karnataka Lokayukta is considered the most powerful Lokayukta in the country

 

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