The state government has finally initiated the process to set up an empowered Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta office.
On Tuesday, it set up a committee led by additional chief secretary (revenue) Swadheen Kshatriya to study the various stronger legislations enacted by other states including Karnataka and Uttarakhand and submit a report for a model Lokayukta Act ahead of the winter session of the legislature.
The committee comprising other bureaucrats will also study the amendments proposed in the private member bill tabled by BJP legislator Devendra Fadnavis.
“Since 2003, all Lokayukta reports in the state have been asking for greater powers and it is always noted that a Lokpal bill is under consideration before the Centre. How long should we wait,” Fadnavis said.
The committee is expected to focus on aspects like granting the Lokayukta suo motu investigation powers, setting up a special police force to investigate graft cases and designating special courts to such cases. Maharashtra was the first state to set up the office of Lokayukta. Yet, the Lokayukta here is one of the weakest in the country.