In an indication that Justice (rtd) P P Naolekar would continue as the state lokayukta after the completion of his six-year term on June 28, the MP government on Tuesday told the office of accountant general (AG) to continue his emoluments and privileges beyond the month of June as well.
The state government had amended the MP Lokayukta and Up Lokayukta Act, 1981 last year to enable the incumbent to continue in office even on completion of his term.
After the amendment, in case the state government does not appoint a new lokayukta, the incumbent can continue in office till the government finds a replacement or for a period of one year. Prior to the amendment, the lokayukta could not be reappointed on completion of his six-year term.
Sources said the state government had received a letter from the office of the secretary, lokayukta establishment, drawing its attention to the lokayukta completing his term on June 28 and the existence of the amended Act.
The letter also informed the government that the AG, whose office deals with salaries, had earlier been informed that the term of the lokayukta would end on June 28 and a clarification in this regard would be required.
Subsequently, the general administration department (GAD) wrote to the chief minister’s secretariat seeking directions.
On the CM’s secretariat’s order, the GAD wrote to the AG office to continue the emoluments of the lokayukta beyond the month of June too.
“The office of the AG has been informed to continue the emoluments beyond June as well, which in effect means that the lokayukta PP Naolekar will continue in office after completion of his term,” said a senior government official, adding that a separate order for continuation in office is not required since it flows from the amendment made to the lokayukta Act.
Oppn condemns extension to justice Naolekar’s term
Opposition Congress has reacted strongly to the extension of term given to lokayukta Justice P P Naolekar.
Reacting to the state government’s decision, senior Congress leader Satyadev Katare, who had asked the chief minister to initiate process for appointment of new lokayukta, said, “I condemn the decision. It’s not justified and I express strong disapproval of the decision.”
RTI activist Ajay Dubey, who was carrying out a campaign for appointment of a new lokayukta, said, “It’s very disappointing but we shall not stop our campaign. Tomorrow I propose to meet former lokayukta Justice Faizanuddin to urge him to sign our appeal to Justice Naolekar not to accept (the term) extension.”