BHUBANESWAR: The State Government will soon appoint the selection committee to start the process for constitution of the Lokayukta.
Announcing this here on Thursday, Minister of State for Law Arun Sahu said rules for the Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014, which got Presidential assent on Wednesday, will be framed as early as possible so that the implementation of the Act is not delayed.
The Lokayukta will be chosen by a selection committee, comprising Leader of the Opposition, Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court or a judge nominated by him and an eminent jurist nominated by the Governor, will be headed by the Chief Minister. The Chairman of the Lokayukta would be appointed by the Governor on recommendation of the committee.
Meanwhile, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) welcomed the Presidential assent to the Bill even as Opposition political parties wanted the appointment of the Lokayukta as early as possible for its implementation. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described it as a big step of his Government towards transparency.
Leader of the Opposition Narsingh Mishra, however, said consensus among different members of the selection committee for appointment of Chairman of the Lokayukta depends on the State Government.
Welcoming the Act, the BJP said it remains to be seen how the Act is being implemented by the State Government. BJP spokesman Suresh Pujari said it all depends on who manages the institution and the people behind it. Though there are several laws to curb corruption, all of these failed to give justice, he added.
The State Assembly had passed the Bill on February 14, 2014. Chief Minister, ex-chief ministers, other ministers and public servants will come under the purview of the Lokayukta. As per provisions of the Bill, MLAs, Government officers, heads of panchayats and municipalities and trusts receiving Government grants will come under its purview. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), contractors (firms or persons) and suppliers dealing with Government money would also be covered by it.