Give approval to state Lokayukta Bill: Khanduri

The Lokayukta Bill is one of the major poll planks of the ruling BJP for the January 30 Assembly elections.

Dehradun: Terming it as a major achievement
of his government, Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri
on Sunday asked the Centre to give its approval to the much-hyped
Lokayukta Bill which was passed unanimously by the state
assembly last year.

"The Bill is being held up at the Centre. After the
assent of the Governor, the Bill was sent to the President
(Pratibha Patil) as the subject falls in the Concurrent List,"
Khanduri said in an interview.

Significantly, the Lokayukta Bill is one of the major
poll planks of the ruling BJP for the January 30 Assembly

Khanduri also said his government has already sent two
reminders to the Centre for its early approval.

"It is very unfortunate that such a landmark bill is
being stopped by the Centre. If the chief minister is ready to
go to the jail (according to the penal provisions for graft
cases), what is the problem (of the Centre)? Why are they
delaying it?" Khanduri wondered.

In one such reminder, Khanduri said he himself has
written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the
early clearance of the Bill which would help in controlling

Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar, in a separate reminder,
has also sent a similar letter to the Centre for the early
approval of the Bill, Khanduri said.

When asked about the reasons for the Central government
delaying the Bill, Khanduri said it was largely due to its
tough provisions.

"The Bill drafted by the Centre is in much diluted form
as compared to the one we have passed," he said.
The chief minister also lamented that there was no time
limit for such delays.

One such bill of the Gujarat government has remained
pending for clearance by the Centre for the last 7-8 years,
Khanduri claimed.

On November 1 last year, the Uttarakhand Assembly passed
the Lokayukta Bill which brings in its net the post of Chief
Minister, Ministers, MLAs and government servants including
IAS and IPS officers with a provision of life imprisonment or
more severe punishment for graft cases.

Khanduri, who took inspiration from the Anna Hazare
movement, said the Bill will go a long way in the fight
against corruption.

On November 3, Governor Margaret Alva gave her assent and
lauded it also. Soon after being sworn in on September 11 last
year, Khanduri had vowed to set up a stronger Lokayukta within
two months.

After the completion of investigation in any graft case,
the Lokayukta shall have the power to recommend punishment,
dismissal, removal or reduction in rank against government

The recommendation shall be binding on the appointing or
disciplinary authority of the government.


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