Kerala to further clip powers of Lok Ayukta, exempts political leaders

SN Jayapraskash

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Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: In an apparent move to further clip the powers of Lok Ayukta, political party leaders have been exempted from quasi-judicial body’s ambit.

This reportedly comes in continuation of amendments diluting provisions in Kerala Lok Ayukta Act, 1999 (Act 8 of 1999).

As per Section 7 (1) of the act, even political party leaders in state-level roles come under the quasi-judicial body’s ambit.

However, the subject committee for the amendments has taken up the exclusion of political party leaders from it.

It may be noted that though the government has been pushing the amendments, the present exclusion was neither in the ordinance or the bill.

Meanwhile, sources said that no one has ever approached Lok Ayukta against a political party leaders since its enactment.

Lok Ayukta, a quasi-judicial body, act as an ombudsman investigating allegations of malpractices and corruption against public servants. At present Lok Ayukta has the power to remove a public servant if it finds malpractices or corruption.

It can issue an order in this regard by submitting to the concerned authority (Governor, CM, State government) under which the respective individual comes. The notion is that the authority should approve it.

The amendments according to critics and Opposition is to topple this mechanism

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