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Mamata Banerjee to be Kept Outside Purview of Bengal's Lokayukta Bill, Oppn Cries Foul

In March this year, the Supreme Court had sought an explanation from chief secretaries of 11 states on why they had not appointed a Lokayukta and up-Lokayukta despite the enactment of the law in 2013.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:July 24, 2018, 10:56 PM IST
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Mamata Banerjee to be Kept Outside Purview of Bengal's Lokayukta Bill, Oppn Cries Foul
File photo of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
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Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been kept outside the purview of the state’s Lokayukta bill that is likely to be placed in the state assembly for discussion on Thursday.

“It is expedient to amend the West Bengal Lokayukta Act, 2003, and this Act may be called the West Bengal Lokayukta (Amendment) Act, 2018,” the Gazette reads.

It adds, “Amending Section 8A so as to exclude any investigation of any complaint relating to allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister relating to public order and any investigation of the complaint against a public servant without the approval of the state government,” it adds.

The move, however, has riled the Opposition. Speaking to News18, CPI(M) legislator Sujan Chakraborty said, “Keeping herself out of the bill’s purview shows that Banerjee is scared. She fought her political career by raising slogans of honesty but now wants to keep herself out of the purview of the bill.”

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh also condemned the move and said, “I believe that everyone should be under its purview. Why should the chief minister be excluded?”

In March this year, the Supreme Court had sought an explanation from chief secretaries of 11 states on why they had not appointed a Lokayukta and up-Lokayukta despite the enactment of the law in 2013.

The bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R Banumathi had observed that West Bengal, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Telangana had not appointed any Lokpal, Lokayukta or up-Lokayukta.
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