Himachal to grant more autonomy to ‘Lokayukta’


By : Mohan Verma

Himachal Pradesh government tabled a bill in the legislative assembly on Wednesday to strengthen the existing Lokayukta by making it multi-member body besides giving the power to conduct searches, seizure of property and to have independent inquiry and prosecution wings.

Tabling a new Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Bill of 2014 in the assembly, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said it was expedient to provide independent and autonomous Himachal Lokayukta on the analogy of the Lokpal and Lokayukta’s Act of 2013 enacted by the central government.

The 38-paged bill was introduced in the absence of the opposition BJP, proposed to bring even the chief minister under its ambit. Lokayukta jurisdiction would cover all categories of public servants even those posted outside the state.

“It’s expedient to re-enact the HP Lokayukta Act of 2014 by repealing the existing Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Bill of 1983,” said the chief minister.

From the existing one-member Lokayukta, the bill proposes a provision of a three-member body, including chairperson and maximum of two members, of which one will be a judicial member.

“The Lokayukta would constitute an inquiry or probe wing headed by the director of inquiry for the purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry into any offense committed by a public servant,” says it, bill is likely to take up for discussion on Friday.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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