The state government of Gujarat on 2 April 2013 introduced a bill in the Gujarat assembly which Places restrictions on the primacy of the chief justice of the state high court and the Governor in the matter of appointment of the Lokayukta.
The Lokayukta Aayog Bill, 2013 is put forward to give all the powers of the appointment to a selection committee headed by Chief Minister and wants state Governor to act on the recommendations of this committee.
It is important here to note that the Gujarat government on the one hand filed curative petition against the Supreme Court order and on the other, has brought this Bill in the Assembly.
Also, for the purpose of conducting investigations and inquiries in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the Governor shall, by warrant under his hand and seal and, on the recommendations of a Selection Committee appoint a person to be known as the Lokayukta and not more than four other persons each to be known as Up-Lokayuktas," reads the proposed section 3 of the Bill.
Whereas in the existing Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, power of selection and consequent appointment of new Lokayukta has been vested with the High Court Chief Justice and the Governor.
Section 3(1) of the 1986 Act says, "For the purpose of conducting investigation in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the Governor shall, by warrant under his hand and seal appoint a person to be known as Lokayukta."
As per the Bill there is also a special provision which gives pivotal power to the state government in excluding any 'public functionaries' from the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta.
As per another significant provision (Sec 12(8)), whoever discloses to the public or to the press any information or publishes such information in contravention of the provisions of this section should invite two years' imprisonment and also a fine of two lakhs Rupees.
The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian states.
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 bring corruption amongst the politicians and officers in the government service to public attention. Many acts of the LokAyukta have not resulted in criminal or other consequences for those charged.
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