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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: Odisha, Bihar, Manipur, and Tamil Nadu are among the only four states that have appointed judicial and non-judicial members of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokayukta, according to a Transparency International India report.

The report issued on the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day analyses the working of Lokayukta (state-level ombudsman) in the country, seven years after the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 came into being after a massive push from the India Against Corruption movement of 2011.

"It has been around 50 years since Maharashtra appointed Lokayukta in 1971; 10 year of the famous Anna movement and seven years of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. But in actuality, there is little progress in anti-corruption landscape of country," a statement from Transparency International India, a civil society organisation, said.

The Act mandates appointment of Lokpal at the Central level to inquire into allegations of corruption against important public functionaries, while Lokayukta is the state-level ombudsman.

The report on the state of affairs at anti-graft panels across the country said that out of the 28 states and three union territories (UTs), the post of Lokayukta is vacant in eight states and UTs namely Assam, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Puducherry (In J and K institution dissolved).

"Interestingly, the apex court and many High Courts while dealing with the issue of appointment of Lokayuktas or the anti-graft ombudsmen in several states failed to achieve any success," it said.

The posts of two judicial members of Lokpal (Central Ombudsman) are vacant, while 22 states and UTs have not appointed Up-Lokayukta (Member), it said.

"There are only four states namely Bihar, Manipur, Odisha and Tamil Nadu which have judicial and non-judicial members of Lokayukta appointed," it said.

The report said out of the 28 states and three UTs, nine -- Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh -- have not amended their Lokayukta Acts to bring them in line with the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act of 2013.

"Karnataka and Kerala Lokayukta Acts can be considered model state level laws, which can be followed by other states/UTs," it said.

As many as 10 states have no official websites or their websites cannot be accessed, the report said.

"Lokpal (Email mode) and three states namely Odisha, Maharashtra and Mizoram have online complaint facility," it said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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