Nagpur: The Shinde Fadnavis government on Monday presented in the state assembly the Maharashtra Lokayukta Act, 2022, whereby Lokayukta can probe the state CM with 2/3rd legislative vote. Any present or former chief minister of Maharashtra can be investigated by the Lokayukta only if the motion for the same is passed by the Legislative Assembly by a two-thirds majority.
However, Lokayukta will not inquire into any charges of corruption against the CM if the matter relates to internal security or public order in the state.
5 members in Lokayukta including retired judge
“The Lokayukta may investigate complaints against Chief Minister, ministers, ministers of state, members of the Maharashtra State Legislature, All India Services Officers, state government employees (excluding Group D), members of local authorities, officers and employees of the Board, Corporation, Authority or Society, wholly or partly financed by state government or controlled by government,’’ said the bill.
The Lokayukta consists of five members including retired Chief Justice of High Court or judge of Supreme Court or judge of Bombay High Court as a Chairperson and four other members out of whom two shall be judicial members. The bill proposes to allow the Governor to give additional functions to Lokayukta with an aim to end corruption.
The LokAyukta bench will be as powerful as the civic court and would be able to direct the government to file chargesheet before a special court in corruption matters. It can conduct preliminary inquiry in any corruption case before a government agency and can supervise state agencies in cases of corruption.
Further, Lokayukta will have powers of superintendent and can issue directions to state agencies to probecases.It can recommend department inquiry, make special report and submit it to government for action. It is empowered to take penal action. A person insulting or causing interruption to the chairperson or member of Lokayukta can be punished with a maximum of 6 month imprisonment and/or fine. In case of false and vexatious complaints, Lokayukta may impose up to Rs 2 lakh penalty but has to grant hearing to the person.
The bill gives power to Lokayukta to recommend a departmental inquiry. On receiving the complaint the Lokayukta would take a call before proceeding further.
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