UP governor okays bill extending Lokayukta’s term

July 7th, 2012 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Lucknow, July 7 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Governor B.L. Joshi has given his nod to the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Deputy Lokayukta Amendment Bill 2012, which increases the tenure of the state Lokayukta from six years to eight years, it was announced Saturday.

The bill was earlier approved by the state legislative assembly during the budget session. It was then sent to the legislative council but the upper house, where the Bahujan Samaj Party enjoys a majority, had rejected the Bill and sent it back to the assembly, saying the tenure of the Lokayukta be fixed at five years.

The bill was introduced again in the legislative assembly where the opinion of the Council was dismissed and the bill sent to the governor for his approval, given Friday.

The other provisions under the new Act include a Rs.50,000 fine on frivolous complaints against government employees and that the Lokayukta and his deputy will hold the office till appointment of their successors.

The Supreme Court had last week entertained a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the state government’s cabinet decision to re-induct Justice N.K. Mehrotra as Lokayukta after he had completed a six-year non-renewable term.

The petitioner had told the apex court that that the decision of the Uttar Pradesh government to re-employ Justice Mehrotra breached Section 5 of the state Lokayukta Act, 1975 stipulating that a person who completes a six year term as the ombudsman would not be entitled for reappointment.

A bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and Altamas Kabir have issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and sought a response with an explanation on the matter within four weeks.

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