The Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution seeking to withdraw the Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Bill of 2012 passed by the previous BJP government. The Bill was passed by the Assembly on April 6, 2012, but not given assent by the President.
On Monday, the resolution was moved by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh after opposition BJP staged walkout during the question hour, and was passed subsequently.
The Bill, which sought to repeal the existing Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Act of 1983, also vested the Lokayukta with powers to initiate an inquiry against the chief minister, ministers, chief parliamentary secretaries, legislators and officers of the rank of secretary and above and heads of the department after permission of full bench of Lokayukta.
At that time the Chief Minister said the bill was “more strong and constitutional and also conferred powers of contempt of court on Lokayukta”. Interestingly, the Assembly had referred the Lokayukta Bill 2014 to select committee of the House on February 21 this year on the suggestion of some members and the recommendations of the committee are sill awaited.
The Chief Minister had then said that a special session would be convened to pass the Lokayukta Bill at the earliest.