Uttarakhand High Court asks state govt to appoint Lokayukta within 8-weeks

The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to appoint the Lokayukta within eight weeks.

A bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal expressed strong dissatisfaction over the delay in appointing the Lokayukta despite crores of rupees being spent over the office of the anti-corruption body.

It asked the government to appoint a Lokayukta within eight weeks and make the institution functional.

The court also ordered the state government to put on hold all expenditure in the Lokayukta office until the submission of a compliance report.

The high court’s order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Haldwani (Gaulapar) resident and social worker Ravishankar Joshi. The petition stated that an annual expenditure of Rs 2 to 3 crore is being incurred in the name of the Lokayukta institution, but the state government has not yet appointed the Lokayukta.

The PIL is scheduled to be heard next on August 10.

Underlining the need for the appointment of a Lokayukta, the petition said all investigation agencies in the state are currently under the control of the government.

It contended that no investigation agency in Uttarakhand has the authority to register a corruption case against officials without the prior permission of the government or file a charge sheet in any court after an investigation.

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