CPM, CPI agree to hand over power to review Lok Ayukta order against CM from Governor to Assembly

Pinarayi Vijayan and Kanam Rajendran | Photo: Mathrubhumi/Biju C

Thiruvananthapuram: The inter-party discussions between CPM and CPI, the leading constituents of ruling front LDF, on the proposed Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill has arrived at a consensus on the disputed clauses.

As per the ordinance passed earlier, the chief minister or the governor could review the decision of the Lok Ayukta to disqualify ministers and chief minister after hearing the version of the accused. CPI objected to this clause.

As per the consensus, the chief minister will continue to hold the power to review the orders against ministers while the verdict against the chief minister will be tabled in the Assembly. With this, the power given to the governor to review the order of the ombudsman against the chief minister has been handed over to the Assembly.

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As an alternative, CPI has reportedly also suggested to amend the contentious section 14 as per the Lokpal Act. However, CPM agreed with the other option, it is learnt.

The Lok Ayukta of Kerala has the power to oust ministers or chief minister if it finds them guilty. Though the act was passed in 1999, KT Jaleel of the previous Pinarayi Vijayan ministry was the first person to feel the heat of it. After that, LDF felt a judicial institution must not have the power to remove ministers. The second Pinarayi government promulgated an ordinance to amend the act. As the relationship with the governor worsened over another proposed Bill, Raj Bhavan refused re-promulgated the ordinance. This forced the government to immediately present the Bill in the Assembly.

The Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill will be introduced in the Assembly on Tuesday.

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