SC notice to Centre, states on Lokpal, Lokayukta

SC notice to Centre, states on Lokpal, Lokayukta

SC notice to Centre, states on Lokpal, Lokayukta

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking direction to set up expeditiously an autonomous Lokpal in the spirit of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013. The PIL also sought adequate budget, infrastructure and manpower, essential for its effective functioning.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla C Pant also sought response from the states on the plea, filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, for simultaneous directions to establish an independent Lokayukta with all the requisite facilities.

The petitioner contended that the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, received assent from the president on January 1, 2014,   and came into force on January 16, but the executive has not established the body to be called Lokpal in the spirit of Section 3 of the act. “It is essential to curb the corruption, the greatest menace to our democracy and development,” Upadhyay said.

“Many state governments were deliberately weakening the Lokayukta by not providing adequate infrastructure, sufficient budget and work force. They did not even appoint superintendents of police in every district, while the prosecution wing,  burdened with hundreds of cases, has one or two public prosecutors only. Many states have not amended the Lokayukta Act in accordance with the Central act till date,” said Upadhyay.

The petitioner submitted that only an autonomous Lokpal at the Centre and an independent Lokayukta in every state can ensure time-bound delivery of goods and services and redressal of citizens’ grievances in a time-bound manner.

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