Lokayuktas in Indian Parliament
The performance of Lokayuktas in the Indian parliament donot present a very encouraging trend. A few lokayuktas could make a mark, thanks to the efforts of the state political leadership; the rest mainly suffered the apathy of the govt. In Andhra Pradesh, this office was temporarily abolished. Whereas in Orissa the office of Lok Pal was held for as many as four years by the JB Patnaik govt. But when the Lokayukta took up some investigation against the same govt. in 1992, this institute was abolished. In Maharashtra when the Lokayukta found two members of the govt guilty of malpractice, his report was considered politically motivated. Commendable work has been done by the Lokayuktas of Andhra during the term of NT Rama Rao, in Karnatake under R K Hedge(especially in bringing to light the involvement of the Reddy brothers in the illegal mining scam). The track record of Birendra Pal, the lokayukta of Karnataka and that of MP have been good too. One major complaint on their end is that they donot get sufficient information from the govt. In bihar the lokayukta had to close a case after there was no response from the state govt for as long as eight years on the conduct of a minister. There is a huge divergence in the patterns of structure and the role of lokayuktas in various states. Unless the central govt establishes a uniform process of appointment of lokayuktas together with the cooperation of the state ministries this divergence will never be bridged. It goes without saying that in this respect it is the central govt which has to show the way by setting up an effective Lokpal at first. Some of the suggestions regarding the setting up of such an ombudsman body are that firstly, the chief minister and all the civil servants, while in service and retired thereof must come within its ambit. Then the lokayukta must have the power to start enquiries suo motu. Lokayuktas must have their own independent investigating agencies and any...
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