Minister P Rajeev slams protests against Lok Ayukta amendment

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In 2013, Parliament passed the Lokpal Bill and Part Three of it states that the Lokayukta Act should be passed in all states.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Law Minister P Rajeev has rejected the opposition's arguments in the Lok Ayukta amendment ordinance. He said that the Lokpal is fully bestowed in the state government. Those who criticise the Lok Ayukta amendment are unaware of the law and they must be living before 2013, he added.

In 2013, Parliament passed the Lokpal Bill and Part Three of it states that the Lok Ayukta Act should be passed in all states. The law itself makes it clear that it is the power of the state. Also, the law had not been approved by the President when it was amended in 2000.

He also said the government considered the suggestion for new legislation in view of two High Court verdicts saying the Lok Ayukta does not have mandatory jurisdiction but only recommendatory jurisdiction.

The Advocate General (AG) also gave a legal opinion that Section 14 of the Act was in violation of the Constitutional articles 163,164 and suggested amending it to make it more in accordance with the existing laws in the country, he added.

The opposition members on Thursday requested the governor not to sign the Lok Ayukta amendment.

In the memorandum, opposition leader VD Satheesan alleged that the justifications by the government to bring the amendment appeared to be "frivolous, politically driven, and in stark contravention of the established laws in this country."

(With added inputs from PTI)

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