Assembly had dismissed controversial amendments to Lok Ayukta during Left rule in 1999

Aneesh Jacob

Thiruvananthapuram: In a startling revelation, the amendment tabled by the state government to limit certain powers of the Lok Ayukta Act has been debated and rejected by the Kerala Assembly during the term of the EK Nayanar ministry in 1999.

The provision that grants power to Lok Ayukta to declare public servants disqualified if proven guilty of corruption was a much-debated topic during an Assembly session in February 1999.

Then chief minister EK Nayanar and the law minister Chandrasekharan Nair introduced the bill in the assembly questioning this special provision. However, the state government implied that concerned authorities should be able to review the findings of the Lok Ayukta that could remove the Governor, Chief Minister and even Government from office.

The debate in the Assembly drew sharp criticism from both the ruling and opposition parties. The members objected against the chief minister or even the governor reviewing the finding of a quasi-judicial body like Lok Ayukta and demanded that the provision be protected.

Senior leaders G Sudhakaran, Anathalavattom Anandan, P Raghavan and other MLAs from the ruling party argued that it was not right for the Lok Ayukta's findings to be reconsidered at the executive level. Aryadan Mohammad, G Karthikeyan, TM Jacob, KM Mani also voiced their concern over the state getting involved in the matters of Lok Ayukta.

Following this, the Government formally amended this provision and passed legislation to protect the powers of the Lok Ayukta.

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