Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta

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Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Uplokayukta (Sanskrit: उत्तर प्रदेश लोकायुक्त and उपलोकायुक्त) is an anti-corruption ombudsman in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.The position of the Lokayukta was established under the Lokayukta Act of 1975.[1][2] The Lokayukta is from a non-political background and functions as a statutory authority probing into cases primarily related to corruption, government mismanagement, or abuse of power by public servants or ministers.[3] Though the Lokayukta lacks wide investigatory powers,[3] it has caught public attention by investigating high-profile cases.[4][5]

On January 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of India, recalled its previous order and appointed a new Lokayukta after the state government failed to suggest one.[6]

Lokayukta
Uttar Pradesh
Incumbent
Sanjay Mishra[7][8]
Government of Uttar Pradesh
Reports toChief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Governor of Uttar Pradesh
SeatLok Ayukta, Uttar Pradesh, TC-46/V-1, Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
AppointerGovernor of Uttar Pradesh
Term length8 years[9]
Inaugural holderVishambar Dayal
Formation14 September 1977; 42 years ago (1977-09-14)
WebsiteLokayukta Office

Selection procedure[edit]

According to the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and UpLokayukta Act of 1975, the Governor of the state can appoint a person to be the Lokayukta and one or more persons as uplokayukta(s)(Deputy Lokayukta). The Lokayukta's appointment is made after consultations with the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, and the leader of the opposition in the state assembly.The Uplokayukta(s) can be appointed after consulting the Lokayukta.[10]

A person is eligible for the post of the Lokayukta or Uplokayukta if he/she fulfills the following criteria.[11]

Any person appointed as the Lokayukta or Uplokayukta serves the office for a period of eight years after an amendment increased the tenure length by two years.[12][13] The perks and allowances of the Lokayukta are the same as that of the chief justice while that of an Uplokayukta to a judge of the state's High court.[14]

Roles and Responsibilities[edit]

The functioning of the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta is to initiate inquiries on complaints regarding maladministration and corruption concerning a State Public Servant".[3] The investigation can be started with specific approval of the concerned ministry[15] and can be either a Grievance or Allegation. Grievance means any claim by a person who faced injustice or undue hardship due to maladministration, whereas, allegation is in relation to a public servant, any government company or corporation in the state or pension and other claims.[3]

Lokayukta or an Uplokayukta enjoys the same powers as that of a civil court under the code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which includes summoning the person, checking any public record or request copy from any court or office and issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.[16] The lokayukta is also required to ensure the safe custody of relevant documents. Every investigation is conducted in private, and the identity of the complainant and that of the public servant under investigation not disclosed in any form unless it is related to public importance.[17] After the completion of an investigation, the lokayukta is required to submit the report to the governor.[18]

In case of a false complaint, the lokayukta is empowered to take appropriate action as specified under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which may involve detention of the complainant and up to three years of imprisonment with fine. However, the person can make an appeal which can be admitted only by the session court.[19] However, in any such case, the court cannot compel the lokayukta, uplokayukta or any public servant to furnish any evidence recorded or collected.[20]

The State Government, by a notification published in the gazette, can confer additional powers for specific investigations to the office of the Lokayukta[21] and can even allow them to make new rules for the same.[22]

Recommendations[edit]

Many names were suggested for selecting a new Lokayukta after the term of N.K. Mehrotra expired.[23] Despite objections raised by both, the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court and the governor, the state government forwarded the name of retired judge Ravindra Singh to the governor at least four times, without following the due procedure. The chief justice had raised strong objections citing Ravindra Singh's alleged political affiliations with the ruling government of the samajwadi party.[24] The government headed by Akhilesh Yadav neither proposed a fresh name, nor called a meeting of the selection committee regarding the appointment,[25][26] which led to governor Ram Naik rejecting the name of Singh for a fifth time in August 2015.[27][28] The state government passed an amendment in the state assembly on August 28, 2015, removing the clause that required the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court to be a part of the selection committee.;[28] The bill,however lies pending with the governor[27][29][note 1]

Hearings in the Supreme Court[edit]

Multiples hearings occurred in the Supreme Court for appointing a new lokayukta. On July 2, 2015, the Court sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea seeking replacement of the state's current lokayukta N.K. Mehrotra,[31] The Allahabad High Court also sought response for the same from the government on July 23, 2015.[26] The apex court issued a notice to the government in December, regarding the initiation of contempt proceedings against it for non-compliance of the Court's previous order.[32] On receiving no reply from the government, the supreme court, on December 14, criticized the for not appointing a new lokayukta in the state [27] and fixed the petitions on the issue for a hearing on December 16. The Supreme Court had earlier upheld constitutional validity of extending tenure of lokayukta to eight years on 24 April 2014 and had asked for the list of possible appointees within six months.[9][13] Since the government failed to recommend the list within the time-frame,[33] the Court[34] appointed Virendra Singh as the new lokayukta by exercising its constitutional power under Article 142 of the Constitution[35][36] The court, however retracted this decision later, after hearing a plea[37] and appointed former judge of Allahabad High Court Sanjay Mishra as the new lokayukta in January 2016.[38][39]

Appointment[edit]

The former Lokayukta N.K. Mehrotra was appointed on 16 March 2006 under the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta Act.[12][13][40] After his term expired on 15 March 2012, the Uttar Pradesh government on the same day brought an ordinance and another on 18 March and extended the period from existing six to eight years, which was later upheld by the Supreme Court.[9][27]

On July 31, 2012, the state government cabinet approved to keep the office of lokayukta out of the purview of the RTI Act, 2005 citing secrecy while investigating corruption charges.[41][42] N.K. Mehrotra served nine years in the office, the longest term by a lokayukta in the country.[43] On December 16, 2015, the Supreme Court, invoking its constitutional powers, appointed justice Virendra Singh as the new Lokayukta, while expressing deep regret for constitutional authorities failing to comply with the court's order.[44][45]

Following objection to Justice Singh's appointment,[46] on January 28, 2016, the Supreme Court retracted its decision and appointed former judge Sanjay Mishra to the office .[47][48]

Lokayukta(s) of Uttar Pradesh.[49]

No[note 2] Name Term
(tenure length)
1 Vishambar Dayal 14 September 1977 13 September 1982 1826 days
2 Vacant 14 September 1982 9 January 1983 118 days
3 Mirza Mohammad Murtza Hussain 10 January 1983 10 January 1989 2193 days
4 Vacant 11 January 1989 27 January 1989 17 days
5 Kailash Nath Goyal 28 January 1989 28 January 1995 2192 days
6 Vacant 29 January 1995 8 February 1995 11 days
7 Rajeshwar Singh 9 February 1995 13 January 2000 1800 days
8 Vacant 14 January 2000 15 March 2000 62 days
9 Sudhir Chandra Verma 16 March 2000 15 March 2006 2191 days
10 N.K. Mehrotra 16 March 2006 30 January 2016 3607 days
11 Sanjay Mishra[7] 31 January 2016 Incumbent 1391 days

Notable cases[edit]

The state lokayukta has probed many high-profile cases and some of them are mentioned below.

Limitations of Powers[edit]

The lokayukta cannot act on any complaint pertaining to people occupying following constitutional posts.[3][57]

If the investigation involves internal security of the state or the disclosure of proceedings of the cabinet of the state government or any committee of that cabinet, then the person cannot be compelled to give any evidence or produce any document.[16] The state government after consultation with the lokayukta, in view of public interest, may exempt a public servant from investigation via notification in the state gazette .[58]

The following matters cannot be covered in the investigation conducted by the lokayukta.[3][59]

  • Investigations related to crime.
  • Proceedings relating to the internal security of the state.
  • Actions in relation to determining whether a matter will go or will continue to be prosecuted in a court.
  • Action concerning commercial relations of the administration of the government or of the local authority or other corporations, except where the complainant alleged harassment in meeting contractual obligations.
  • Appointments related to removal, pay, disciplinary action, superannuation or other matters relating to conditions of services of public servants but not including actions relating to claims for pension, gratuity, provident fund or to any claims which arises on retirement, removal or termination of service.
  • Grant of honors and awards. If this is done in a confidential manner,an investigation cell may be established under the Lokayukta.

Removal[edit]

According to the Article 311 of the constitution, the lokayukta or an up-lokayukta can be removed only if found guilty in the report of committee headed by the judge of either Supreme court or Chief justice of the High court. The report is then forwarded to the Governor and then presented before the state legislature with each house of the legislature votes for the removal by 2/3 majority.[60]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The governor is right when he insists on the evidence of the state government having consulted the chief justice of the Allahabad high court and the leader of the Opposition," an expert said. The state government’s plea that the governor is always bound to go by the ministerial advice does not hold water too, experts said. "The governor has all the right to reject what the minister’s have advised," the expert added.[30]
  2. ^ A number inside brackets indicates that the incumbent has previously held office.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta: Efficient Redressal of Citizen Grievances" (PDF). Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers is a quarterly publication of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.
  2. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975". National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Powers and Functions of Lokayukta Uttar Pradesh".
  4. ^ "Lokayukta Probe: Curious case of withdrawing cases against mining minister". The Indian Express. 13 May 2015.
  5. ^ "UP Lokayukta submits Naseemuddin DA case report to ED". Business Standard. 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ "SC recalls order regarding UP Lokayukta's appointment, names new". Hindustan Times. 28 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Justice Mishra sworn in U.P. Lokayukta". The Hindu. 1 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Ending months of Govt-Guv tussle, Justice Sanjay Mishra sworn in as UP Lokayukta". The Economic Times. 1 February 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 410 OF 2012". Supreme Court of India. 24 April 2014.
  10. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 3. Appointment of Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas".
  11. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 4. Lokayukta or Up-Lokayukta to hold no other office".
  12. ^ a b "Mohd.Saeed Siddiqui vs State Of U.P.& Anr on 24 April, 2014". ikanoon.
  13. ^ a b c "Will appoint Lokayukta as soon as possible: UP govt after SC rap". Rediff. 15 December 2015.
  14. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 5. Terms of office and other conditions of service of Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta".
  15. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 7. Matters which may be investigated by Lokayukta or Up-Lokayukta".
  16. ^ a b "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 11. Evidence".
  17. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 10. Procedure in respect of investigations".
  18. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 12. Reports of Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta".
  19. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 13. Action in case of false complaint".
  20. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 15. Secrecy of information".
  21. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 18. Conferment of additional functions on Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta etc".
  22. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 21. Power to make rules".
  23. ^ "How Akhilesh Yadav tried to handpick Lokayukta until Supreme Court cracked down". The Indian Express. 12 January 2016.
  24. ^ "UP Governor Ram Naik returns Lokayukta file for second day". Daily News and Analysis. 8 August 2015.
  25. ^ "UP guv rejects Akhilesh's Lokayukta recommendation". Rediff. 25 August 2015.
  26. ^ a b "UP Governer [sic] Returns Lokayukta File to State Government for Third Time". The New Indian Express. 20 August 2015.
  27. ^ a b c d "UP govt in a soup after SC's strict direction to appoint new Lokayukta". The Indian Express. 15 December 2015.
  28. ^ a b "New turn to standoff over U.P. Lokayukta". The Hindu. 28 August 2015.
  29. ^ "संविधान के तहत परीक्षण के बाद ही लोकायुक्त बिल को मंजूरी देंगे राज्यपाल". Dainik Bhaskar. 27 August 2015.
  30. ^ "No end to stalemate over UP Lokayukta appointment". Network 18. 24 August 2015.
  31. ^ "PIL for removal of UP's Lokayukta; SC issues notice to state". Business Standard. 2 July 2015.
  32. ^ "Appoint New Lokayukta By Wednesday, Supreme Court Tells Uttar Pradesh". NDTV. 14 December 2015.
  33. ^ "UP Lokayukta appointment: Selection panel to meet again today". Hindustan Times. 16 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Supreme Court gives UP a Lokayukta after state fails to come up with name". The Telegraph (Calcutta). 16 December 2015.
  35. ^ "UP Lokayukta: Two marathon meetings fail to come up with name". The Economic Times. 16 December 2015.
  36. ^ "Supreme Court appoints Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta". The Times of India. 16 December 2015.
  37. ^ "SC stays oath taking of the new UP Lokayukta". Business Standard. 19 December 2015.
  38. ^ "SC appoints Justice Sanjay Mishra as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh". Zee News. 28 January 2016.
  39. ^ "Supreme Court appoints Justice Sanjay Mishra as U.P. Lokayukta". The Hindu. 28 January 2016.
  40. ^ "Supreme Court upholds amendment in UP Lokayukta Act". The Economic Times. 24 April 2014.
  41. ^ "Uttar Pradesh cabinet keeps Lokayukta outside RTI Act ambit". The Times of India. 1 August 2012.
  42. ^ "UP govt keeps Lokayukta out of RTI purview". ZEE NEWS INDIA. 31 July 2012.
  43. ^ "UP Lokayukta completes 9 years in office, longest ever term by any ombudsman". Network 18. 23 July 2015.
  44. ^ "Supreme Court invokes its constitutional power, appoints Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta". ABP News. 16 December 2015.
  45. ^ "State government not at fault: Akhilesh on Lokayukta appointment". Dainik Jagran. 18 December 2015.
  46. ^ "यूपी में लोकायुक्त की नियुक्ति पर आपत्ति, राज्यपाल को भेजा पत्र". Amar Ujala. 17 December 2015.
  47. ^ "Writ Petition (Civil) No.872 of 2015 SACHCHIDANAND GUPTA SACHCHEY Petitioner(s) VERSUS STATE OF U.P THR. CHIEF SECRETARY AND ORS" (PDF). Supreme Court of India. 19 December 2015.
  48. ^ "Supreme Court appoints Justice Sanjay Mishra as new Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta". Daily News and Analysis. 28 January 2016.
  49. ^ "List of Former Hon'ble Lokayukta, U.P."
  50. ^ "Why Ponty Chadha's Time Could Be Up in Uttar Pradesh". Forbes India. 13 March 2012.
  51. ^ "Lokayukta probe into Ponty Chadha's sugar mills, mining deals to continue". Times of India. 20 November 2012.
  52. ^ "UP govt tells Lokayukta to probe sale of sugar mills during Maya rule". The Indian Express. 20 November 2012.
  53. ^ "Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta serves notice to Gayatri Prasad Prajapati's family in graft cases". The Economic Times. 30 December 2014.
  54. ^ "2 MLAs disqualified from UP Assembly after Lokayukta probe". Financial Express. 29 January 2015.
  55. ^ "'Probe UP Lokayukta for acquitting Yadav Singh in its inquiry'". ZEE NEWS India. 5 August 2015.
  56. ^ "CBI raids 12 NCR locations linked to Yadav Singh corruption case". Daily Mail. 8 October 2015.
  57. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 22. Removal of doubts".
  58. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 19. Power to exclude complaints against certain classes of public servants".
  59. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 8. Matters not subject to investigation".
  60. ^ "THE UTTAR PRADESH LOKAYUKTA AND UP-LOKAYUKTA ACT-1975:SECTION- 6. Removal of Lokayukta or Up-Lokayukta".

External links[edit]