UP government has not tabled lokayukta report since 2014, says official
Maximum complaints from rural development department, said official. He said the office disposed of 3,564 complaints out of the total 3,915 it received in 2018 at the initial stage due to lack of evidence and was currently investigating 1233 complaints, including 882 pending since 2017.Updated: Apr 13, 2019 08:38 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The state government has not presented reports submitted by the UP lokayukta carrying its recommendation for action against errant officials since 2014, an official of the UP lokayukta office said.
“Lokayukta justice (retired) Sanjay Mishra met the UP governor to present the annual report for 2018,” said Pankaj Kumar Upadhyaya, secretary to the UP Lokayukta at a press conference, here on Friday. He said 22 representations and six recommendations for action against officials investigated by the anti-corruption ombudsman were made to the state government.
“There has been a substantial rise in the number of complaints, the majority of which are from the rural development department. We have submitted reports against senior civil servants, former ministers end legislators, but we cannot reveal their names because of the secrecy clause in the Act,” said Upadhyaya who, along with deputy lokayukta Shambhu Singh Yadav and chief investigating officer Rakesh Kumar, accompanied justice Sanjay Mishra when he presented the annual report.
He said the office disposed of 3,564 complaints out of the total 3,915 it received in 2018 at the initial stage due to lack of evidence and was currently investigating 1233 complaints, including 882 pending since 2017.
“We send special representations when no action is taken or we are dissatisfied with whatever action is taken in the matter by the state government,” said an official requesting anonymity.
Citing secrecy constraints of the UP Lokayukta Act, he said the annual reports sent to the state government could only be made public after they were placed before the two houses of the state legislature and this was not done since 2014.
The fact is also borne out by information provided by Sanjay Dixit, public information officer to UP governor, to RTI activist Nutan Thakur.
“The lokayukta has sent 12 special reports to the governor in 2017 and 2018. These reports included cases of V P Singh, former MD, and Ram Swarup, ex superintending engineer, UP State Construction and Infrastructure, Lalji Ram, ex-chief engineer, irrigation department, Shail Yadav, ex-secretary, secondary education council and Dinesh Saxena, registrar, Gautam Buddha University, Noida,” Dixit revealed in his reply to Thakur.
Thakur, who had sought copies of the annual and special reports sent by the lokayukta office since 2010, was told that while annual reports till 2014 were available on the lokayukta website, post-2014 reports cannot be provided as they have not been placed before the two Houses.
Soon after being sworn in January 2016, justice Mishra had met the UP governor and presented him with a list of staff and the resource crunch being faced by his office.
“Unlike our counterparts in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, the UP lokayukta has no power to move against a corrupt official, legislator or minister on its own unless there is a complaint. Moreover, we also lack powers to carry out searches, seizure and prosecution,” said an official.
He said a presentation was made to the state government in 2016 to emulate the MP model on the lokayukta and put the state’s vigilance department under it to facilitate investigation but no follow-up action has been taken so far.
First Published: Apr 13, 2019 08:38 IST