Has any action been taken on recommendations to strengthen Lokayukta?
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act shows that the Lokayukta of Kerala had submitted to the state government a set of proposals to strengthen the office of Lokayukta as anti-corruption ombudsman and the same were ratified by an expert committee headed by former judge K P Balachandran.
The reply, provided by the Vigilance Department, stated that the Lokayukta’s recommendations included bringing 117 more institutions under the ambit of the chief vigilance body. Enabling Lokayukta to take cases suo moto on graft cases reported by newspapers and television channels were also recommended in the proposal. Currently, the only Lokayukta with the power to initiate criminal proceeding on the basis of media exposure is of Karnataka.
The proposal was placed before the state government for speedy implementation of the recommendations but as yet no action has been taken regarding the proposal. The RTI reply states that the Chief Minister has not called even a single meeting to discuss the recommendations from the Lokayukta and the supporting proposals from the expert committee.