Lokayukta appointment: After SC rap, Odisha issues notification

Bhubaneswar: After almost four and a half years of passing the Lokayukta Act, Odisha government on Monday issued a gazetted notification regarding formation of a ‘search committee’ for the appointment of the Lokayukta.

As the notification was issued by the General Administration barely a day before submission of an affidavit by Odisha in Supreme Court tomorrow, the opposition parties have trained their guns on the State government for such delay.

“Government is delaying the issue as it is not getting the person who will listen and work as per its direction,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president, Niranjan Patnaik.

“Government has no intention of appointing Lokayukta. All such drama is being done by Chief Minister to hoodwink Supreme Court. The government wants to delay and mislead all and nothing will be done till 2019 election,” said BJP leader, Prithviraj Harichandan.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Odisha government had already patted its own back after claiming to be the first State to enact Lokayukta Act after passing the Lokayukta Bill unanimously in the Assembly in 2014.

The bill that was passed in the Odisha Assembly in 2014 had received the President’s nod on January 28, 2015.

As per the notification issued today, a selection committee will be formed under the chairmanship of CM Naveen Patnaik for the appointment of Lokayukta. The committee shall also have Assembly Speaker and Opposition leader as members.

All the three members of the selection committee shall suggest names for the fourth member and send it for Governor’s nod.
Besides, the selection committee will also constitute another five- member ‘search committee ‘which will shortlist names of candidates for Lokayukta and its members.

The search committee will then recommend the names to the selection committee. The State government will present details of the process started by it for Lokayukta appointment in Supreme Court tomorrow.

“A notification has been issued and all guidelines have been mentioned in detail. The government will present its stand on the issue in Supreme Court tomorrow,” said BJD spokesperson, Sasmit Patra.