Lokayukta Bill passed by Maharashtra assembly
ECONOMY & POLICY

Lokayukta Bill passed by Maharashtra assembly

The Lokayukta Bill 2022, which places the chief minister and council of ministers under the purview of the anti-corruption ombudsman, was approved by the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday. Due to a walkout by the opposition over the suspected fraud in the Teachers Entrance Test, the law was passed without debate.

Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister, referred to the bill as historic legislation and noted that Maharashtra is the first state to have such a law.

Deepak Kesarkar, a cabinet minister, proposed the bill that will subject the Chief Minister and the government to the anti-corruption ombudsman's oversight. The Bill stipulates that the Lokayukta must get the assembly's consent before opening any inquiries into the chief minister and presenting a proposal to the house for consideration.

Such a proposal would require the consent of at least two-thirds of the entire Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, in accordance with the requirements of the Bill.

In accordance with the Bill, the Lokayukta will not investigate matters involving accusations of corruption against the Chief Minister that are connected to internal security or public order.

Additionally, it is stated that any such inquiry shall be conducted in confidence, and that the records of the inquiry shall not be made public or accessible to the public if the Lokayukta determines that the complaint should be rejected.

The Lokayukta must have a chairperson who is either a current or former Chief Justice of a High Court, as required by the legislation. A judge from the Bombay High Court or the Supreme Court will be present in addition to this. A maximum of four people may serve on the Lokayukta, with two coming from the judiciary.

The Chief Minister, the deputy Chief minister, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker of the Legislative Council, the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and the Council, and a judge chosen by the Chief Justice or Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court will make up the selection committee for the appointment of the Lokayukta Chairperson and Members.

According to the measure proposed in the assembly, the absence of any members of the selection committee will not render any appointments to the positions of chairman or member of the Lokayukta unlawful.

The Lokayukta Bill 2022, which places the chief minister and council of ministers under the purview of the anti-corruption ombudsman, was approved by the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday. Due to a walkout by the opposition over the suspected fraud in the Teachers Entrance Test, the law was passed without debate. Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister, referred to the bill as historic legislation and noted that Maharashtra is the first state to have such a law. Deepak Kesarkar, a cabinet minister, proposed the bill that will subject the Chief Minister and the government to the anti-corruption ombudsman's oversight. The Bill stipulates that the Lokayukta must get the assembly's consent before opening any inquiries into the chief minister and presenting a proposal to the house for consideration. Such a proposal would require the consent of at least two-thirds of the entire Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, in accordance with the requirements of the Bill. In accordance with the Bill, the Lokayukta will not investigate matters involving accusations of corruption against the Chief Minister that are connected to internal security or public order. Additionally, it is stated that any such inquiry shall be conducted in confidence, and that the records of the inquiry shall not be made public or accessible to the public if the Lokayukta determines that the complaint should be rejected. The Lokayukta must have a chairperson who is either a current or former Chief Justice of a High Court, as required by the legislation. A judge from the Bombay High Court or the Supreme Court will be present in addition to this. A maximum of four people may serve on the Lokayukta, with two coming from the judiciary. The Chief Minister, the deputy Chief minister, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker of the Legislative Council, the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and the Council, and a judge chosen by the Chief Justice or Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court will make up the selection committee for the appointment of the Lokayukta Chairperson and Members. According to the measure proposed in the assembly, the absence of any members of the selection committee will not render any appointments to the positions of chairman or member of the Lokayukta unlawful.

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