Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said that the government would bring a bill for strong Lokayukta.
Intervening in a debate on budget for 2014-15, the chief minister informed the house that the bill would be introduced in the ongoing assembly session.
“Since the Lokpal has now come at the national level, the state will bring a bill to strengthen the existing Lokayukta,” he said.
Interestingly, the previous government headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal had, in 2012, passed amendments to the Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Act of 1983 – in the absence of the opposition Congress in the assembly – to not only give the ombudsman constitutional and comprehensive powers but also contempt of court powers on a par with the high court.
“The bill sent to the president for consent by the previous government has been withdrawn by the present government,” said an official.
The government’s new bill will seek to repeal the existing act and replace it with another to make it more effective in dealing with corruption, said the official.
Justice (retd) L.S. Panta is currently the state’s Lokayukta.