After UP, now plea in SC for a Lokayukta for Uttarakhand [Read Petition]

After UP, now plea in SC for a Lokayukta for Uttarakhand [Read Petition]

After appointing a Lokayukta for Uttar Pradesh after the state refused to act for long, a fresh petition has been filed in the supreme court seeking a direction to Uttarakhand to appoint the ombudsman.

A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi has sought a copy of the 2011 Uttarakhand law on Lokayukta from petitioner and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay within two weeks.

“This is the Bill, where is the Act (the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act-2011), the court asked and adjourned the hearing on the plea.

Upadhaya, in his plea, has said the Act was one of the best and effective and was unanimously passed by the Assembly in 2011. This writ petition is being filed...for implementation of the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011. Uttarakhand is without the Lokayukta since September 2013, while more than 700 complaints related to corruption are pending, the plea said.

“Issue a writ of mandamus or a writ in the nature of mandamus or such other appropriate writ, order or direction as may be necessary directing the Respondent-1 to appoint the Lokayukta in accordance with the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act-2011”, said the petition

The Uttarakhand law brings the Chief Minister, all Ministers, all Legislators and all Government Servants under the ambit of the Lokayukta with a provision of punishment up to life imprisonment and forfeiture of property, it said. Former Chief Ministers, Ministers, MLAs and retired officials also come under its purview, the plea said.

The provisions of the Act said the government should implement the Act within 180 days, but instead of appointing the Lokayukta, Government passed a new Bill. Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on society. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violation of human rights..

On January 28, recalling its December 16 order appointing former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Virendra Siingh as the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta finding it “somewhat inaccurate”, the Supreme Court had made a new appointment and slammed the state government for creating a confusion by not placing the state Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud’s opposition to the choice of Singh in time before it passed the earlier order.

After cancelling Singh’s appointment, a bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Prafulla C Pant went ahead to appoint Justice Sanjay Mishra, another former judge of the Allahabad HC whose name was in the common list of Chief Minister and the Chief Justice, to the post.

Read the Petition here.