Governor urged to return Lokayukta Bill

The Arappor Iyakkam, a non-governmental organisation, has sent a representation to Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit urging him to return the recently passed Lokayukta Bill to the Assembly. In its letter, the organisation said the Bill defied the fundamental objective of independent investigation and did not give the anti-graft body prosecution powers.

“We are deeply concerned about the hurried passage of the Lokayukta Bill in the State Assembly. The Bill was introduced on the last day of the Assembly session and passed within a few hours without much discussion,” the anti-corruption organisation said in its letter.

“The selection committee to select the Chairperson of Lokayukta is loaded with ruling party members. The Bill is not empowered to carry out a preliminary inquiry against Group A, B, C and D public servants and the complaint has to be forwarded to the Vigilance commission which is headed by an IAS officer and controlled by the government,” the Arappor Iyakkam pointed out.

While the Bill has the powers to carry out a detailed inquiry after a report from the Vigilance Commission, the report following the probe against all public servants including elected representatives has to be submitted back to the competent authority, which is again the State government officials or elected representatives. It noted the Bill did not have the powers to inquire into complaints made more than four years after the event’s occurrence.

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