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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court stating that the State will complete the process for the appointment of Lokayukta by March 31 and it will start functioning by April 8.

The affidavit was submitted by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, who deposed before a three-member bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

“The State Government has filed an affidavit before the apex court informing that Lokyukta will be appointed by April 8 in Odisha,” said Padhi.

Last year in December, Odisha government had 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.

Odisha was the first State to pass the Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly in February 2014. Earlier in October 2018, the Supreme Court had rejected Odisha’s plea seeking additional three months’ time for appointment of the Lokayukta.

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