Setting up of Lokayukta

07/11/2019

The prime object behind the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India is to weed out and eradicate the cancer of corruption with which our society is woven and to nip this evil in the bud it is of essence to have a Lokayukta in the Union Territory. Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act passed by the Parliament nearly six years back has remained unimplemented so far, the Law Commission headed by Justice (retd) M K Hanjura has recommended setting up of Lokayukta in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to deal with the complaints relating to corruption against public functionaries/servants. The Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 states: “Every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State Legislature, to deal with complaints relating to corruption against public functionaries, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act”. However, no serious attention was paid towards this provision of the law passed by the Parliament on the ground that in Jammu and Kashmir similar law titled Accountability Commission Act was already passed by the State Legislature in the year 2002.
As J&K Accountability Commission Act has been repealed by the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act passed by the Parliament in the first week of August this year, the Law Commission has found it appropriate to have Lokayukta in the Union Territory of J&K so that complaints of corruption against the public functionaries receive due attention. The jurisdiction of the Lokayukta, shall include Ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly, officers and employees of the Union Territory from amongst the public servants defined in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) of clause (c) of Section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 when serving or who has served in connection with the affairs of the Union Territory. Moreover, Lokayukta shall have jurisdiction over all officers and employees referred to in clause (c) equivalent in any body or board or corporation or authority or company established by an Act of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory or wholly or partly financed by the Government or controlled by it”, the Law Commission said in the recommendation. Now, it is to be seen whether the Government acts on this vital recommendation of the Law Commission or sits over the same for unspecified period.

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