Civil rights body submits draft Lokayukta bill to CM Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Seeking a public debate over the Odisha Lokayukta Bill, 2014, a civil rights body on Monday submitted a draft of the proposed legislation prepared by them to chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

The group named Odisha Lokayukta Abhijan (OLA) in its draft framework of the proposed bill, prepared through a consultation said that the state Lokayukta should comprise a chairman, along with a minimum of four other members hailing from both judicial and non-judicial backgrounds.

They should be chosen by a 5-member selection committee consisting of the chief minister as chairman and Leader of Opposition, Speaker of the Assembly, Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court and another eminent jurist as members.

The government should form a 7-member search committee to provide it with a panel of names from which the chairperson and members of Lokayukta would be selected, the draft said.

Both the Lokayukta and the search committee constituted by it should have 50 per cent of their membership drawn from SC, ST, OBC, minority and women, the draft framework of the proposed bill has suggested.

It has also proposed that the chairperson or a member of Lokayukta can be removed from his/her post if at least 35 MLAs or any person by way of an affidavit level an allegation against any of them before the governor and the veracity of the allegation so made is established through an enquiry made by the High Court.

The state Lokayukta should have two separate wings for preliminary inquiry and prosecution. The directors of these two wings shall be appointed from a panel of names comprising both official and non-official professionals. The state government shall bear all expenditures of the Lokayukta from its Consolidated Fund.

The draft framework provides for the Lokayukta’s obligation to receive complaints of corruption against any minister, including the chief minister, and all officers and employees.

The civil society’s consultation was convened by Pradipta Pradhan, convener of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan under the banner of Odisha Lokayukta Abhijan.