Exit Accountability Commission, enter Lokayukta,

Srinagar, Nov 27: Jammu and Kashmir Law Commission has recommended setting up Lokayukta to replace the recently dissolved State Accountability Commission (SAC), in the new union territory.

Law Commission headed by Justice (retired) MK Hanjura has recommended Lokayukta to deal with complaints related to corruption against public servants and other functionaries.

 “The prime object behind the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India is to weed out and eradicate the cancer of corruption with which our society is woven. To nip this evil in the bud it is of essence to have a Lokayukta in the Union Territory,” said Justice Hanjura in his report submitted to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam.

“In view of the mandate of Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the Lokayukta Act has to be enacted to replace the J&K Accountability Commission Act, 2002,” he recommended.

Lokayukta shall consist of a chairperson, who is or has been a chief justice or judge of a high court and four members out of whom two shall be judicial members.

Law Commission has recommended that Lokayukta shall constitute an inquiry wing headed by the director for the purpose of conducting inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant. 

“Till such time the inquiry wing is constituted by the Lokayukta, government shall make available such number of officers and other staff from such of its departments, as may be required, for conducting inquiry,” the Commission said.

“Lokayukta shall have jurisdiction over all officers and employees referred to in clause (c) equivalent in any body or board or corporation or authority or company established by an Act of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory or wholly or partly financed by the Government or controlled by it,” the Law Commission said.

Section 63 of Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 says: “Every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State Legislature, to deal with complaints relating to corruption against public functionaries, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act.”

The Lokayukta was implemented across the country in 2013 but not extended to Jammu and Kashmir because of Article 370.

Instead, J&K was having SAC which was constituted in 2003. Under SAC, the office of chief minister, cabinet ministers, legislators, and bureaucrats, was open for investigations, if there be a complaint of wrongdoing against any of them.

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