Lokayukta takes exception to proposed Bill

Meets Guv over curtailing powers of police wing

Lokayukta takes exception to proposed Bill

Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao on Sunday met Governor H R Bhardwaj and urged him to direct the government not to table the new Karnataka Lokayukta Bill, 2014, which proposes to curtail the powers of an independent Lokayukta police wing.

Justice Rao is understood to have opposed the provisions in the new bill cleared by the State Cabinet last week that proposes to set up an inquiry wing empowered to conduct preliminary inquiry into every allegation of corruption against any government official before registering a case under Prevention of Corruption Act. 

The government was proposing to introduce the bill in the legislature in the present budget session.

In the present Lokayukta Act, there is no scope for preliminary inquiry before registering a case for offences under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Justice Rao has also opposed the substitution of an independent police wing by a State Vigilance Commission headed by retired or serving IAS officer and assisted by State Vigilance Police Establishment, that will conduct the preliminary inquiry into allegations of corruption.

Justice Rao is learnt to have told Bhardwaj that the independent functioning of the Lokayukta police should be continued and the proposal to constitute the State Vigilance Commission should be dropped.

Justice Rao, who arrived at Raj Bhavan at 11 am, held discussion with the Governor for about two hours. Justice Rao also presented a copy of the proposed new legislation to Bhardwaj, sources said.

Justice Rao is understood to have told the Governor that the present Lokayukta legislation was working well and there was no need to replace it. Further, any preliminary inquiry being conducted by non-police officials was against law. Bhardwaj is understood to have told Justice Rao that he would convey his views to the government soon.
Not tabling Lokayukta Bill today: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday denied that he was tabling the Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly on Monday, reports DHNS from Mysore.

Speaking to the media on his arrival here, Siddaramaiah said though the intended Bill was modelled on the Lokpal Bill, there was no plan of presenting it in a day or two, as reported in the media.

Siddaramaiah also denied that he had received a letter from former minister S A Ramdas seeking high-level probe after a woman claiming to be his wife levelled serious allegations against him. “I haven’t received any such letter,” he said.

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