SC directs Odisha Govt to appoint Lokayukta in 2 months

Bhubaneswar: While the appointment of Lokayukta in Odisha had witnessed an inordinate delay despite being the first state to pass a Bill in this regard, the Supreme Court today directed the former to complete the appointment process within two months.

A three-judge bench gave this order after the State Government submitted an affidavit on the matter before the apex court earlier in the day.

Earlier, the court had served a notice to the Odisha Government asking it to submit a status report on steps taken for appointment of a Lokayukta by July 10. Following the notice, the General Administration (GA) department of the state government on Saturday had issued a gazette notification on formation of a search committee for appointment of the Lokayukta.

As per the notification, a selection committee will be formed under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for appointment of the chairperson and members of the Lokayukta.

It may be mentioned here that the Bill on formation of the anti-corruption body was unanimously passed in the Odisha Assembly on February 14, 2014. The President had also given his consent to the Bill in December, 2014.

However, its rules had neither been formulated nor had the Government published a gazette notification in this regard. During the last monsoon session of the Assembly, the Opposition parties had also raked up the issue accusing the State Government of submitting a false affidavit on the matter in the Supreme Court.

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