SC gives TN 2 months to set up Lokayukta

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 10, 2018 01:21 PM IST

Chennai: A day after the Tamilnadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution paving way for Lokayukta in the State, the Supreme Court today directed the government to set up the ombudsman body within two months.

The direction was issued when the Tamilnadu government submitted a compliance report on setting up the anti-corruption body in the apex court today. The Supreme Court said Lokayukta should be completely formed in the State within two months.

Earlier, Tamilnadu was one of the 12 States pulled up by the Supreme Court on lack of progress in setting up the Lokayukta.

In April this year, the court rejected the State's response for not having moved ahead with the bill, directing it to set up the Lokayukta before 10 July.

And on Monday (9 July), Administrative Reforms and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar tabled the bill in the Assembly on the last day of the current session.

The proposed Lokayukta, comprising a chairperson and four members, would be empowered to inquire into complaints of corruption by public servants and recommend departmental action against them.

According to the Bill, the Lokayukta would have all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and would have jurisdiction over all MLAs, former MLAs, Ministers, former Ministers and all public servants defined in the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

On receipt of a complaint, the Lokayukta would initially decide whether to proceed with the matter and eventually order a preliminary inquiry.

The complaint would be later forwarded to the Vigilance Commission for conducting a preliminary inquiry to ascertain whether a prima facie case exists.

In case the officers belong to Group A and B, the Vigilance Commission would submit its report to the Lokayukta, and in case of Group C and D staff, it would proceed against them.

In case of need for a detailed inquiry, the Inquiry Wing of the Lokayukta would probe the case and submit a report.

Based on the report, the Lokayukta would recommend action against the public servants.