Uttarakhand assembly passes new Lokayukta bill amid BJP’s uproar

The new bill replaces Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act passed by the state assembly during the previous BJP government headed by Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri.

As the bill was passed through voting, BJP MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition Ajay Bhatt, staged a walkout raising questions on the justification of the legislation when Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act passed by the House during Khanduri's tenure had already become an Act after getting Presidential assent in September last year.

Bhatt said the earlier bill could have been an effective anti-corruption instrument and there was no need for an entirely new legislation to replace it.

According to the new Lokayukta Bill, the Lokayukta will be created in the state and headed by a practising or retired judge or Chief Justice of the high court.

Besides the head, there will be four members on the panel out of which 50 per cent will be from the judiciary and 50 per cent from SCs/STs/OBCs, minorities or women.

As per provisions of the legislation, no member of a?legislature of any other state or Union territory can be a member of the Lokayukta body.

The head of the Lokayukta and its members will be appointed by a five-member selection committee headed by the chief minister.

The bill had been tabled in the House on Monday by parliamentary affairs minister Indira Hridayesh.
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