President Pranab Mukherjee has okayed Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill,passed by the state Assembly in November 2011 when BJP leader B C Khanduri was CM.
The then Team Anna Hazare had said the Bill was identical to Jan Lokpal Bill.
State Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar confirmed that the Presidential nod was granted on September 4. It (the Bill) has been sent to the Roorkee printing press to prepare a gazette notification, he said.
Kumar said the new law would come into force within 180 days from September 4. He,however,was silent on changes,if any,in the draft before it went to the President.
Sources said after the gazette notification,the Bill will be placed before the state cabinet. If the government wants,it (the Bill) can be implemented as it is. Or,it may decide to amend the Bill, a senior state officer said.
After getting the Bill drafted in 2011,Khanduri,sources said,wrote to the then President Pratibha Patil seeking her assent.
The original Bill passed by the state Assembly provides for stringent punishment in graft cases to all,including CMs,ministers,MLAs,IAS and IPS officers and other government servants. Even the lower judiciary was within the ambit of the original Bill, a senior officer recalled. He said there was also a provision for a Lokayukta investigating agency,apart from the power to make arrests in graft cases.
In view of the Presidential assent to Lokayukta Bill 2011,the oath-taking of deputy Lokayukta K D Bhatt could not take place Wednesday.
It was not appropriate for the state government to appoint a deputy Lokayukta knowing that the President has given his assent to Lokayukta Bill 2011, an officer said.