Supreme Court: The bench of Ranjan Gogoi and R. Banumathi, JJ sought explanation from the chief secretaries of 12 States and Union Territories as to why they have not appointed a Lokayukta yet. Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, states that every state shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta.
The Bench was hearing the petition filed by filed by advocate and Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in which it was said that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, received presidential assent on January 1, 2014 and came into force from January 16, 2014 but the executive has not established a Lokpal yet. The PIL has also sought a direction to the states to provide adequate budgetary allocation and essential infrastructure for effective functioning of Lokayuktas. The petitioner, in his petition, had said:
“many State Governments are deliberately weakening the Lokayukta by not providing adequate infrastructure, sufficient budget and workforce.”
The Bench, hence, asked the chief secretaries of Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal to give reasons for not appointing a Lokayukta and to specify by when they would appoint a Lokayukta
The Court has also asked the Chief Secretary of Odisha to apprise the Court about the status of the Lokayukta in State and said the Court has no information whether it has an anti-corruption ombudsman or not.