Odisha Lokayukta Bill 2014 passed by the Assembly of the state

Odisha Legislative Assembly passed the Odisha Lokayukta Bill 2014, with provision of keeping Chief Minister, ex-Chief Ministers, other ministers and public servants under the purview of a six-member anti-corruption panel.

Excerpts of the provisions of the Odisha Lokayukta Bill 2014
  • Members of the anti-corruption watchdog panel:  The head of the panel and two members will be from judicial background while three others will be non-judicial members. From among three non-judicial members one would be women or scheduled caste, scheduled tribe or minority category on rotation basis.
  • Minimum age of Lokayukta: 50 years.
  • The Lokayukta will be chosen by a selection committee headed by the Chief Minister and comprising others including the Leader of the Opposition, speaker of Odisha assembly, Chief Justice of Odisha High Court or a judge nominated by him and an eminent jurist nominated by the Governor.
  • The chairman of the Lokayukta would be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the selection committee.
  • Lokayukta can inquire or direct an inquiry into any corruption related matters in the state.
  • Removal and suspension of the chairperson and members of Lokayukta: they can be removed by the order of the Governor on the ground of misbehaviour. Before doing so, the Governor is required to refer the petition signed by at least 25 MLAs to the Orissa High Court.
  • Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 viz.  Present chief minister, members of his council of ministers, former chief ministers and ministers, MLAs, chairpersons of municipalities, panchayat samitis, secretaries, directors and chairpersons of various government-run boards and corporations, contractors, supplying agencies, procurement farms, outsourcing agencies and non-governmental organizations receiving public funds, etc, would come under the purview of the Lokayukta.
  • Penalty for those making false complaint: Imprisonment up to one year with fine which may extend up to Rs 1 lakh.

Note: Odisha became the first state to enact the law after the Central Act was passed in Parliament in December 2013.

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Categories: India Current Affairs 2017

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