MADURAI: The State government is actively considering establishing a Lok Ayukta, the anti-corruption ombudsman.In an affidavit filed before the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench), which is hearing a petition seeking to set up the ombudsman, the Deputy Secretary of Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department on Tuesday said the feasibility of setting up a Lok Ayukta is under the active consideration of the government.
According to him, a committee has been constituted to examine the issue of establishing the anti-corruption ombudsman that would be empowered to investigate into corruption charges against all State officials, including Ministers and elected representatives.
The affidavit said the committee is examining the issues concerned including drafting of the Bill on Lok Ayukta. The Deputy Secretary also stated that the Union government has proposed certain amendment to the Lokpal and Lok Ayuktas Act 2013 and the State would draft its legislation in a manner that would avoid any repugnancy to the Central Act.
Presently, the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Kerala have Lok Ayuktas. In fact, in Karnataka, the Lok Ayukta was instrumental in investigating into the corruption charges faced by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.
Earlier, a Madurai-based advocate B Stalin moved the High Court seeking to constitute the Lok Ayukta in Tamil Nadu. He argued that the Central legislation was enacted in January last year. As per the provisions of the Lokpal and Lok Ayuktas Act, States which do not have an ombudsman to deal with corruption charges, were mandated to draft a legislation and enact the same within a period of 365 days. However, in Tamil Nadu such a legislation was not piloted, hence the prayer, the petitioner said.