Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today constituted a seven-member search committee headed by Justice Amitabh Ray to recommend names for the selection of Lokayukta.

The search committee was formed at a high-level meeting of the selection committee headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with Orissa High Court Chief Justice, Leader of Opposition and other members of the panel today.

The other members of the newly-formed search committee include- Prof. Venkata Rao Rambhatla, former bureaucrats Sanjib Hota and Rabi Narayan Bohidar, former DG Gopal Chandra Nanda, Dr. Bidhubhusan Samal and Prof. Snigdha Patnaik.

Convenor of Lokayukta selection committee, Ashok Meena informed that the search committee will recommend names for the Lokayukta appointment within a month. “The search committee will recommend names for the panel within a month,” said Meena.

It is pertinent to mention that Odisha was the first State to pass the Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly in February 2014. Despite over four years since the passage of the Lokayukta Bill in the State Assembly, the government is yet to appoint the Lokayukta. Earlier in October 2018, the Supreme Court had rejected Odisha’s plea seeking additional three months’ time for appointment of the Lokayukta.

Leader of Opposition, Narasingha Mishra stated that once the search committee recommends the name, the Lokayukta panel with a chairman and five other members will be finalised.