Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: President Pranab Mukherjee today approved Odisha Lokayukta Bill which was passed in the State Assembly in February last year. With this, the Bill turned into an Act and Odisha became the first State in the country to have such a legislation.

Reacting on the development chief minister Naveen Patnaik said, "Its a giant step towards transparency in governance."

The Act has provision of keeping chief minister, ex-chief ministers, other ministers and public servants under the purview of a six-member anti-corruption panel. NGOs, contractors (firm or persons) and suppliers dealing with government money would also be covered under it.

The chairman of the Lokayukta will be either a sitting or retired High Court judge and the commission would consist of at least two judicial members. From among the non-judicial members, one would be from women, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or minority category on rotation basis. The Lokauykta should be at least 50 years of age.

The Lokayukta will be chosen by a selection committee headed by the chief minister and comprising others including the leader of the Opposition, speaker of Odisha Assembly, chief justice of Orissa High Court or a judge nominated by him and an eminent jurist nominated by the governor.

The chairman of the Lokayukta would be appointed by the governor on the recommendation of the selection committee.