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Maharashtra Govt To Bring Lokayukta Law On Lines Of Centre’s Lokpal Legislation

Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, announced on Sunday that his administration has decided to enact a Lokayukta law similar to the Lokpal Act of the Central Government that would also cover the chief minister and ministers.

On the eve of the state legislature’s winter session, he announced a law in this regard will be submitted when speaking to a press conference. According to him, the new (to-be-amended) law is crucial for providing “full transparency” to the state.

The choice was made in the state’s citizens’ best interests, according to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

“The Cabinet has approved the proposal for the new Lokayukta law, which we will now present to the legislature. The chief minister and a council of ministers have now, for the first time, come under the purview of the Lokayukta, he claimed.

According to Fadnavis, the anti-corruption Act is not included in the current Lokayukta statute. The anti-corruption statute has therefore been incorporated into this act (new law),” he continued.

Social crusader Anna Hazare had been calling for Maharashtra to adopt a law similar to Lokpal, according to the deputy chief minister. A panel led by Hazare was established while the BJP-Shiv Sena government was in office (from 2014 to 2019).

Fadnavis claimed that the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, in office from November 2019 to June 2022, did not take the matter seriously.

“We sped up the procedure when the new (Eknath Shinde-led) government took office (in June this year). The committee’s report was received favourably by the government. The panel chaired by Anna Hazare’s recommendations have been fully adopted “Fadnavis threw in.

He said that the Lokayukta would be a retired Supreme Court or High Court chief justice (judge). Additionally, it will feature two benches and two additional high court judges.

The state Cabinet’s ministers (as well as the chief minister) will be brought under the purview of the Lokayukta, said Fadnavis.

In order to handle public complaints against the government and its administration, the Maharashtra Lokayukta was established as an independent, top-level statutory functionary.

Under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013, the Lokpal was established to look into and investigate claims of corruption against public officials who fall under the purview and jurisdiction of this Act.

In February 2019, Anna Hazare fasted in opposition to the Centre’s delay in appointing a Lokpal and the passing of Maharashtra’s Lokayukta Act. Almost all of Hazare’s requests were met, according to Fadnavis, who at the time served as chief minister of the BJP-led NDA government.

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