Staff-starved Lokayukta focuses on finalising cases

Staff-starved Lokayukta focuses  on finalising cases

The institution had requested the government to increase the staff strength, but there was no response this year. One officer deals with only two corruption cases in a year in the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), but in the Lokayukta on officer has to deal with five to six corruption cases in a year, says Dutta.

The Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde, agrees. At least four officers are needed to deal with one accused government officer, he feels.

The institution has achieved progress despite this. Dutta points out: “Total staff strength of Orissa State Anti-Corruption Bureau is 193. The Bureau recorded 86 traps and 39 raids in 2008, while we recorded 279 traps and 90 raids in 2008 with hardly 63 staff strength. The institution ideally requires direct candidates and staff on deputation. They require special orientation as handling corruption needs a different mindset, approach and upbringing.”

Demands not fulfilled
If staff crunch has been a bane, the Lokayukta’s prime demand for more powers continued to receive a cold response from the State Government.

Demands like giving additional, suo moto and prosecution powers, simplifying giving sanctioning authority to initiate legal action against accused government official, setting up of exclusive courts fell on deaf ears. There are only three exclusive court for Lokayukta cases-in Bangalore City, Mysore and Belgaum. There is one more court in Bangalore Rural which is not exclusive. The existing situation demands two courts for Bangalore City alone, the Lokayukta feels.

“We need one exclusive court at every district head quarter or one exclusive court for 100 cases,” stresses Hegde.

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