DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The Supreme Court has directed the Uttarakhand Government to appoint the state ombudsman within three months after the passage of the Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly.
A Bench comprised of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission of the state government that it has already introduced a new Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly, which is likely to be cleared in the upcoming session.
The Bench asked the state to appoint the Lokayukta after the passage of the new law and disposed of a PIL filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. Upadhyay had said the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011, was one of the “best and effective” measures which was unanimously passed by the Assembly in 2011.
This writ petition is being filed for the implementation of the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011. State is without a Lokayukta since September 2013, while more than 700 complaints related to corruption are pending.
The apex court had on August 12 last year sought a response from the state government on the PIL seeking a direction to it to appoint the Lokayukta. The Uttarakhand law brings the CM, all ministers, all legislators and all government servants under the ambit of the Lokayukta with a provision of punishment up to life imprisonment and forfeiture of property, the plea said.
Former chief ministers, ministers, MLAs and retired officials also come under its purview.