CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court appointed an amicus curiae today to help it decide the maintainability of a public interest litigation seeking setting up of the institution of Lokayukta for the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The PIL filed by advocate Hari Chand Arora, seeking issuance of appropriate directions to the Union of India, States of Punjab and Haryana and the UT Chandigarh administration to set up an institution of Lokayukta for citizens of Chandigarh, came up for hearing before a bench comprising Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Amit Rawal.
The petitioner contended that while Punjab and Haryana has appointed the anti-corruption ombudsman, there is no provision for the appointment of Lokayukta for Union Territories under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act.
He contended that despite the fact that Chandigarh is the capital of the two states (Punjab and Haryana), there is no provision for the appointment of a Lokayukta for its citizens, which is quite discriminatory against them.
The petitioner alleged that in the absence of any antigraft institution like the Lokayukta, the officers/public functionaries of UT of Chandigarh, who come on deputation from Punjab and Haryana, are having unbridled powers to act in arbitrary fashion, there being no system of checks and balances.
The institution of Lokayukta for UT Chandigarh is therefore, necessary, he contended.
After hearing the petitioner on the issue of maintainability of the PIL, the bench asked Rafeeza Hakeem, additional advocate general, Punjab, to be the amicus curiae or friend of the court in the matter.
The amicus curiae will assist the high court on the next date of hearing on December 7.