The Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill 2017 will be passed in the budget session beginning on July 8, keeping in line with the promise made by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s vision document during the assembly polls.
“The Lokayukta bill will be passed in the budget session and the process of appointment of the Lokpal will start afterwards,” said finance and parliamentary affairs minister Prakash Pant, who on Tuesday held a crucial meeting of the select committee whose recommendations would be incorporated in the bill.
Refusing to divulge details of the changes and amendments incorporated by the select committee in the bill, Pant said, “The committee has fine-tuned the bill, which will be tabled in the House for approval.”
“In our vision document, our party had promised to implement the Lokayukta bill within 100 days; we would ensure that it was done sooner. The Lokayukta will have powers to investigate all cases of corruption and financial irregularities that are brought to its notice by complainants,” added Pant.
The passage of the Lokayukta bill is important to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s government, especially after the letter fiasco with Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, who purportedly scuttled the Uttarakhand government’s effort to get a CBI probe done into the much-talked NH-74 scam to the tune of more than Rs 200 crore.
Once the Lokayukta Act comes into force, the Lokpal, an ombudsman, will take over the NH-74 scam in a relief to the chief minister, who is facing embarrassment after the letter fiasco with Gadkari and the high court order to drop the names of NHAI officers from the case.