Supreme Court gives Odisha two months to appoint Lokayukta

Written by Sampad Patnaik | Bhubaneswar | Published: July 11, 2018 1:43:07 am

Supreme Court gives Odisha 2 months to appoint Lokayukta

The apex court’s directive came after Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi submitted a status report on the initiative taken by the state government in this regard.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Odisha government to complete the process for appointment of the Lokayukta within two months.

The apex court’s directive came after Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi submitted a status report on the initiative taken by the state government in this regard.

Odisha was first state to pass the Lokayukta Bill on February 14, 2014, after the Lokpal Bill was cleared by Parliament in December 2013. The Bill received President’s nod in 2015. However, even after a lapse of three years, the state did not appointment a Lokayukta.

Taking a strong exception to the inordinate delay in the appointment of Lokayukta, the Supreme Court in April had rejected the six-month time requested by the state for the appointment of the Lokayukta and directed the Chief Secretary to submit a status report on steps taken for the appointment of a Lokayukta before July 10.

“In the last three years, the state government evaluated the process and waited on the Centre, since the latter was proposing some amendments to the existing law. After implementing (Lokayukta Act), the state government did not want to again bring in amendments following the Centre,” said BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra.

Calling the explanation “unfortunate”, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “I don’t expect them to appoint the Lokayukta before the Lok Sabha elections (in 2019), considering they took three years to produce a gazette notification.”

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