Uttarakhand's new Lokayukta Bill a fraud on people: Khanduri

"It is a blatant fraud on the people of the state. The provisions of the new Lokayukta bill will lead to the creation of a toothless anti-corruption body which will only help patronise the corrupt and perpetuate corruption," the senior BJP leader said. Uttarakhand Assembly on Tuesday had passed a new Lokayukta Bill modelled on the Centre's Lokpal even as opposition BJP walked out of the House. The new bill replaced Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act passed during Khanduri's regime. "The bill brought in during my tenure sought to give total autonomy to the anti-graft ombudsman by freeing it from all political interference and bringing all high offices including that of the CM and the lower judiciary under its purview. It was also given Presidential assent in September last year after close scrutiny. Still the government deliberately slept over its implementation and replaced the Act with a new bill as its intentions were not fair," he said. Khanduri said that had the state government's intention been fair it would have implemented the Lokayukta Act passed unanimously by the state Assembly during his tenure. According to the new Lokayukta Bill, the Lokayukta will be created in the state and headed by a practising or retired judge or Chief Justice of the High Court. The Lokayukta will be appointed on the recommendation of a five-member selection panel to be headed by the Chief Minister, whose office has also been kept under its ambit. "How can we expect a Lokayukta to be objective in its investigation of functionaries of a government on whose recommendation it has been appointed," Khanduri asked. Besides the head, there will be four members on the panel out of which 50 percent will be from the judiciary and 50 percent from SC/ST/OBC, minorities or women.

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