Chennai, July 10: Welcoming the decision for appointing a new anti-corruption system, The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed a bill to set up a Lokayukta to inquire into corruption allegations against public servants. The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed the bill without any virtual discussion even as DMK walked out of the house.
Tabling the Lokayukta Bill, 2018, State minister D Jayakumar in the House, said the Centre had earlier enacted the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, which had a provision for a Lokayukta, or public anti-corruption ombudsman, in every state.
The Lokayukta will consist of a chairman and four members. While the chairman should be the current or former judge of the high court or should have served a minimum of 25 years in the field of anti-corruption, public administration, awareness, finance or law, two of the four members should have experience in the legal system.
The leader of the Opposition and DMK working president MK Stalin raised his concerns over the anti-corruption body for not covering the inquiries into the complaints on the tendering process, government appointments, and local bodies.
Calling the act a ‘Joke-Ayukta,’ Jayaram Venkatesan said, “The act does not specify anything about the punishment that would be given to elected representatives who are found guilty. It instead talks about the punishment to the complainant. This is a joke and must be ripped apart and thrown away.”
Every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta for the State, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State Legislature, to deal with complaints relating to corruption against certain public functionaries, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act.
The Supreme Court in an order in April 2018 had pulled up Tamil Nadu government for the delay in forming Lokayukta. It ordered the state government to file a status report by July 10 on the steps taken by the government to form Lokayukta.