Supreme Court grants Uttarakhand 6 months to appoint Lokayukta

The post has been lying vacant since 2013.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 22:22 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Uttarakhand,Lokayukta
Supreme Court building(REUTERS File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the newly-elected Uttarakhand government to make requisite changes in the Lokayukta law and appoint an ombudsman within six months.

A bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud considered the submission of the state government that a select committee would consider the requisite changes in the law, which may be cleared by the assembly at its next session.

The state government said the Lokayukta would be appointed soon after the law is passed in the assembly. “Six months granted for doing the needful,” the bench said asking the state government to fill the post which has been lying vacant since 2013.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay which said the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011 was one of the “best and effective” measures and was “unanimously passed” by the Assembly in 2011.

“This writ petition is being filed...for the implementation of the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011. Uttarakhand is without a Lokayukta since September 2013, while more than 700 complaints related to corruption are pending,” it said.

The apex court had on August 12 last year sought a response from the state government on the PIL seeking a direction to it to appoint the Lokayukta.

The Uttarakhand law brings “the chief minister, all ministers, all legislators and all government servants under the ambit of the Lokayukta with a provision of punishment up to life imprisonment and forfeiture of property”, the plea said.

Former chief ministers, ministers, MLAs and retired officials also come under its purview, it added.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 22:22 IST