Lokayukta Bill introduced in HP Assembly

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Bill, 2012, which had come in for a sharp attack from Team Anna, was introduced in the Assembly on Wednesday, providing for an anti-corruption ombudsman and bringing in its purview the Chief Minister and other public servants.

As per the Bill introduced by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the Lokayukta would be a retired Supreme Court Judge or Chief justice of a High Court. A provision for appointment of two Uplokyukts has also been made.

The Lokayukt Bill also seeks to repeal the existing Lokayukt Act of 1983.

The power to initiate inquiry against Chief Minister, ministers, chief parliamentary secretaries, MLAs and officers of the rank of Secretary and above and heads of the Department would vest in Lokayukta but no action would be initiated without the permission of full bench of Lokayukta, according to the Bill.

Further, the inquiry, investigations and prosecution shall continue in case the complainant dies and no complaint shall be allowed to be withdrawn unless the Lokayukta is fully satisfied that the complainant had made a bonafide mistake.

However, the prosecution sanction in case of Ministers and MLAs would be accorded by the state assembly while in case of judicial officers, the High Court would be the competent authority to grant sanction.

A provision to keep the identity of whistle blowers secret and providing them security has also been made while in case of frivolous complaints a fine up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment of one year has also been made in the Bill.