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Kerala Assembly passed Lokayukta Amendment Bill

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Salient Features of the Kerala Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2022:

(1) On the direction of the Lokayukta, the public servant has to resign.
(2) The Amendment Bill has made the Legislative Assembly the competent authority to review impeachment reports against the Chief Minister. In the case of MLAs, the competent authority shall be the Speaker of the House.
(3) The competent authority can now either reject or accept the report of the Ombudsman. If a cabinet minister is convicted in the Lokayukta report, the bill empowers the chief minister to review it.
(4) The Bill exempts political leaders from the purview of the Act. In addition, the Bill allows retired High Court judges to be appointed as Lokayuktas.

Who is Lokayukta?

Lokayuktas are the state counterparts to the Lokpal at the Centre. These institutions are “statutory bodies” without any constitutional status. If we talk about their role, then to deal with the complaints of corruption against some public functionaries in the states, the states have to establish Lokayuktas. The Supreme Court has also directed the states to take steps for the appointment of Lokayukta.

Constitution of Lokayukta

Lokayuktas are appointed by the “Governor of the state”. At the time of appointment, the Governor, generally, consults the Chief Justice of the State High Court and the Leader of the Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly. The composition of the Lokayukta “does not follow a uniform pattern across all states”.

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