The new Lokayukta Act of Himachal Pradesh is set to give suo moto powers to the Lokayukta to deal with cases of corruption against the chief minister,Assembly Speaker and cabinet ministers.
The state home department,which has been working to amend the existing Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Act-1983,is ready with a draft bill. The bill has been posted on the departments official website,inviting suggestions from residents,civil society members,NGOs and eminent personalities. The BJP government has a plan to get the bill passed before state goes to the polls in October-November 2012.
We have not copied or borrowed provisions from elsewhere. Himachal Pradesh wants to have the best law. Certain suggestions sent by Team Anna members have been taken into consideration,beside inputs and proposals sent by the Lokayukta. It will be a revolutionary law, said Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
Justice L S Panta,a retired Supreme Court judge who had taken over as new Lokayukta last month,had strongly favoured changes in the existing Act,which he admits doesnt have the required teeth to tackle corruption.
What the DRAFT BILL says
An independent investigating agency under the Lokayukta,which will also be a three-member body.
Special prosecution wing under Lokayukta and special courts for time-bound trials in corruption cases.
Empower citizens to act as whistleblowers in corruption cases
No inquiry will be ordered against high functionaries without permission of the full bench of the Lokayukta.These include chief minister,council of ministers,Speaker,Deputy Speaker,chief parliamentary secretaries,parliament secretaries,officer of the rank of secretary or above to the government and members of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.