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Lokayukta wants to be No. 2, govt says sorry

In annual report, lokayukta says he should be placed right after the L-G at state functions.

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2012 23:46 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times

The Delhi government has expressed its helplessness to accord seat to lokayukta just after the lieutenant governor and before the chief minister in 'order of precedence' during state functions.

In his annual report for the year 2010-2011, which was submitted to the lieutenant governor in July 2011, Delhi lokayukta Manmohan Sarin had observed that necessary courtesy was not extended to the lokayukta during state functions.

"The Delhi Lokayukta and Upalokayukta Act, 1995, provide that the lokayukta is to be given salary, prerequisites and allowances of chief justice, if appointed from the chief justices… It needs no emphasis to say that the lokayukta ought to be placed in order of precedence at par with the chief justice of a high court," the annual report stated.

"Hence, in Delhi government functions, it would not be remiss to suggest that the lokayukta should get the position of primacy after the honourable lieutenant governor."

But the Delhi government said in its reply that the NCT of Delhi has no warrant of precedence (WOP) of its own and it follows the WOP for ceremonial functions issued by the union home ministry.

"The seating is provided according to WOP dated 28.10.2005 of government of India, according to which the lokayukta of this government is placed in article-17 at serial no. 52 of annexure - III," the government's reply stated.

The Delhi government tabled the 12th annual consolidated report of the institution of Delhi lokayukta for year 2010-2011 along with its action taken report on suggestions and observations of lokayukta in recently concluded winter session of the legislative assembly.

The Delhi government also rejected the lokayukta's suggestion to appoint a Uplokayukta for "effective functioning of institution", bring civil servants who are appointed as directors and managing directors of corporations and companies under the purview of lokayukta, abolish fee charges for filing a petition of complaints, and to give power to lokayukta to order and conduct searches and seizures during proceedings to strengthen the institution.

The government observed that the past annual reports reflect that there was hardly any case falling in categories where the Uplokayukta services may be required and the volume of work with lokayukta was very limited.

The government also observed that civil servants are already under the jurisdiction of CVC and CBI and the lokayukta has been appointed to inquire into allegations against public functionaries. Abolition of court fee may lead to increase in number of frivolous complaints, the government observed.

First Published: Jan 18, 2012 23:44 IST