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Tamil Nadu Introduces Lokayukta Bill in Assembly, Activists Decry it as 'Jokayukta'

As per the draft bill, the lokayukta will consist of a chairperson who has been or is the Judge of the High Court or a person with a 25-year-experience in anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance and law.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:July 9, 2018, 6:02 PM IST
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Tamil Nadu Introduces Lokayukta Bill in Assembly, Activists Decry it as 'Jokayukta'
D Jayakumar, Personnel and administrative reforms minister, introduced draft bill in the Assembly. (File photo)
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Chennai: A day before the Supreme Court deadline to states, Tamil Nadu government introduced the draft bill of Lokayukta Act, 2018 in the state Assembly on Monday.

Even as D Jayakumar, Personnel and administrative reforms minister introduced draft bill in the Assembly, DMK staged a walkout as the MLAs were not allowed to discuss the Bill in the Assembly Hall.

Working President of the DMK said the party is opposing the Bill as it lacks teeth and said the DMK was not even allowed to discuss the reservations on the bill.

Activists too staged a protest outside the Secretariat condemning the state government to have not held public consultation before drafting the bill.

As per the draft bill, the Lokayukta will consist of a chairperson who has been or is the Judge of the High Court or a person with a 25-year- experience in anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance and law. The chairperson and members will be appointed by the Governor based on the recommendations of the Selection Committee comprising the Chief Minister, Speaker and the Leader of Opposition.

The Lokayukta will not inquire into any complaint made against the Chairperson or any member and on the receipt of a complaint, the Lokayukta shall decide whether to proceed in the matter or close the case, the Bill noted.

So what action is envisaged in the bill in cases of false complaints?

The Bill says anyone making any false or frivolous or vexatious complaints under the Act will be punished with imprisonment for a term of one year and with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Activists denounced the draft bill tabled by the government as 'Jokayukta'.

The Selection committee procedure shows that the state government will put in place their person.

Jayaram Venkatesh, Convenor, Arappor Iyakkam, said: "Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Mahashtra do not have ruling party as majority in the section committee. Jail term and fine for false complaints is just to intimidate people who want to give complaints. DVAC is not brought under Lokayukta and hence there will be two investigating bodies. Preliminary inquiry on corruption charges on officials will be investigated by vigilance commission which is the current DVAC headed by IAS and not the Lokayukta's inquiry wing. The top IAS officials made sure they are protected and gave complete control over the investigations."
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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