Khanduri asks Patil to approve Lokayukta Bill
Dehradun: BJP leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister BC Khanduri, who is credited with bringing in a strong Lokayukta Bill in the state, has asked President Pratibha Patil to give her assent to the anti-corruption measure before she demits office.
In a letter to Patil, Khanduri asked her to give assent to the bill in the larger interest of the country.
BJP sources said Khanduri is peeved over the state government`s move to dilute certain tough measures in the bill.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had already made it clear that he would carry out certain amendments like taking judiciary out of the purview of the lokayukta bill.
The bill which was passed by the state assembly unanimously in November last, is awaiting the assent of the President.
While the lower judiciary will be covered under the lokayukta, judges of the state high court will not be under the purview of the bill which has won praise from Anna Hazare as being a model bill.
In his letter to the President, Khanduri highlighted the tough provisions of the bill which he said would cover not only all government or semi-government officials of the state and lower judiciary but also the chief minister, former chief ministers, all ministers, MLAs and all public servants.
Lokayukta will be independent of the government for investigations and prosecution of corrupt persons, Khanduri noted.
After giving assent to the bill on November one last year, the then Governor Margaret Alva had sent the bill to President Pratibha Patil for final approval.
Since then, the bill is lying in the limbo, official sources said.
Khanduri, who once used to describe the bill as a major achievement of his government, has used it as one of the main poll planks during the assembly elections early this year which BJP lost to Congress by just one seat in the hill state.
After the assent of the Governor, the bill was sent to President Patil as the subject falls in the concurrent list.
In one such earlier reminder, Khanduri also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the early clearance of the bill which he said would help eradicate corruption.
When asked why the central government was 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.
Khanduri, who took inspiration from the Anna Hazare movement, said the bill will go a long way in the fight against corruption.
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