Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta bill gets President's nod
The Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta bill has got the President's nod, turning it into an act to check corruption in the state.punjab Updated: Jun 12, 2015 22:49 IST
The Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta bill has got the President's nod, turning it into an act to check corruption in the state.
Governor Kalyan Singh had forwarded the bill to the President's office five months ago. He had raised reservations about a few clauses, including those on contempt powers and sanction for prosecution for the ombudsman that he felt were at variance with the Criminal Procedure Code and other central laws.
The bill will bring all ministers, including the chief minister, and all government employees under the ambit of the ombudsman.
It was earlier withdrawn after the Opposition opposed it outside the House, while Congress party legislator Asha Kumar demanded it be referred to a "select committee".
The bill had proposed a one-member lokayukta who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or chief justice of a high court. It had also been proposed that any person could remain in the office of Lokayukta for five years or till attaining the age of 70.
Himachal Pradesh was among the first states in the country to set up the institution of the lokayukta in 1983. However, it was not so effective with bureaucrats and politicians being out of the ombudsman's ambit.
The lokayukta was also not given powers of suo moto investigations, while such powers were included in the bill introduced by the previous BJP government in 2012, but was later recalled.