Uttarakhand has become the first state in India to bring the chief minister under the ambit of the Lokayukta. The much-awaited Lokayukta Bill was passed in the state assembly on Tuesday.
“It’s a milestone for the country,” said state parliamentary minister Prakash Pant. “The incumbent CM and all his predecessors have come under the ambit of Lokayukta along with the entire state bureaucracy.”
The “milestone” comes on a day social activist Anna Hazare threatened to launch another hunger strike if the Lokpal Bill was not passed in the winter session of Parliament.
The Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill was passed around two months after chief minister BC Khanduri took over following a change of guard in the state.
The Lokayukta will comprise a chairperson and five members with a scope of increasing the number to seven.
Under the law, lower judiciary will be covered under the Lokayukta but high court judges will not come under its purview. For any act of corruption, the punishment shall not be less than six months of rigorous imprisonment and may extend up to imprisonment of 10 years.