Karnataka Lokayukta gets teeth back, now needs staff

Cases pile up, but 31 percent shortage in officers; 15-20 officials transferred to Bengaluru

Published: 18th August 2022 07:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2022 03:13 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka Lokayukta

Karnataka Lokayukta

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With the abolition of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Karnataka Lokayukta regaining its power, there is a dire need to address shortage of staff in the Lokayukta across the state. There was a 31 per cent shortage of officers and staff, as on July 31, 2022.

Former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde stated that the staff crunch was never as apparent as it is now, and with the Lokayukta getting more powers, infrastructure should be strengthened or pendency might increase, with more cases coming in. There has also been a delay in replacing investigating officers transferred out of the Lokayukta. On the Karnataka High Court’s judgment on strengthening the Lokayukta, Justice Hegde demanded that the issue of staff shortage be addressed, and the decision
to transfer investigating officers should be done with the Lokayukta’s consent.

“Any shortage will create more delays, which will jeopardise the merit of the cases, not only for anti-corruption work but also grievance redressal,” he said. The issues cannot be addressed in time if there is a shortage.  He said one of the reasons for returning the Lokayukta its powers was because thecurrent judicial system is not very efficient. The purpose is to resolve matters in a timely manner, and without sufficient staff, there is bound to be backlog and accumulation of cases.

As of July 31, 2022, 434 positions were vacant, of a total of 1,403 sanctioned posts in A, B, C and D categories. The C and D categories include police constables, assistants, clerks, stenographers, sweepers etc and have maximum vacancies.

Addressing the pendency of cases, Lokayukta Justice BS Patil said there was a delay in appointments against retired and transferred employees, and filling up of vacant positions was also slow. The Lokayukta’s position was also vacant for almost five months, before he was appointed. All these reasons increased pendency, which is being addressed now, he said.

Justice Patil said that everybody must work to their fullest potential to tackle pending cases, and to address the shortage in Bengaluru, 15-20 officials were transferred from across the state to manage work efficiently and reduce pendency.

Details of Vacancies (as on July 31, 2022)  
Category - Group A
Sanctioned - 147
Working - 112
Shortage - 35
Category - Group B
Sanctioned - 118
Working - 83
Shortage - 35
Category - Group C
Sanctioned - 971
Working - 657
Shortage - 314
Category - Group D
Sanctioned - 167
Working - 117
Shortage - 50


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