Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 21 April 2024 7.22 PM IST

Govt can reject verdict; Lokayukta will be now like Judicial Commission


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the President approving the amendment to curtail the powers of the Lokayukta, the Lokayukta will now find itself at the level of a judicial inquiry commission. The Government can reject or accept the recommendations of the judicial commission.

Section 14, which allows the Lokayukta to declare public servants unfit to hold official positions if their corruption is proven, has been amended. Such orders of the Lokayukta can be rejected by the Chief Minister, the Assembly and the Speaker. This means that the administration can decide whether the judicial order of the Lokayukta is right or wrong. With this, the stage has been set to overthrow the administration of justice of Lokayukta which has quasi-judicial powers and is headed by a former Supreme Court judge or former High Court judge.

The government argues that the provision that the Lokayukta cannot disqualify constitutional systems is being excluded and there is no such provision anywhere in the world. The counter question of the opposition is whether the state government will abolish the land reforms act saying that such a law is not there in other states. The administration can now use the power of its majority in the Assembly to overrule whatever orders the Lokayukta may issue against the Chief Minister in the relief fund misappropriation case. There is a concern that there will be a situation where the government itself will judge the case against the government.

Lokayukta is the only system that can register a case on complaints of corruption, nepotism and abuse of power by public servants, officers and administrators without the permission of the government. Vigilance and Vigilance Court require permission from the government to register a case.

  • According to the amendment, there is no need for a Supreme Court judge or a former Chief Justice of the High Court to become a Lokayukta. A High Court judge is enough.
  • There was no age limit for Lokayukta judges. The age limit has been fixed at 70 years through amendment.
  • Current Lokayukta Justice Cyriac Joseph will retire in March and Upalokayukta Justice Babu Mathew P Joseph will retire in April.
  • Retired High Court Justice Shaji P Chaly will be made the next Lokayukta

Rs 4.08 crores- annual expenditure on the functioning of Lokayukta's office

Rs 56.68 lakhs- annual salary of Lokayukta and Upalokayuktas

Cases in Lokayukta have decreased

2018------ 1578



2021------- 227



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