Lokayukta from Feb., T.N. tells SC

Bench warned States against inaction
The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that the office of Lokayukta will start to function from February 1 next year. The State’s assurance came after a Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took a stern view of the non-appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman.
“We are convinced your government is not interested,” Justice Gogoi said.
The court gave time till 2 p.m. in the afternoon for other States like West Bengal and Telangana to also get instructions from the respective Chief Secretaries about the appointment of Lokayuktas. “All you have to do is to appoint a retired judge as Lokayukta… problems may be many, but the issue is you do not seem to want a Lokayukta,” Justice Gogoi snubbed the State governments. West Bengal returned in the afternoon to inform the court that the Lokayukta would be functional from January 1. Meanwhile, Telangana submitted that it would appoint a Lokayukta within three months of the formation of a new government. The Union Territory of Puducherry submitted that it would send its Lokayukta Bill for approval to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The court has asked the Additional Solicitor General for the Centre to apprise it whether the approval process can be expedited. In March, the court had asked 11 States to explain the five-year delay in appointment of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokayukta and Uplokayukta. It had found that several States have not appointed Lokayuktas despite the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act coming into existence in 2013.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/lokayukta-from-feb-tn-tells-sc/article25316297.ece

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