There is a major debate on in Karnataka regarding the fate of the once powerful Lokayukta.
With the government announcing the formation of the Anti Corruption Bureau that will report to the Chief Minister of Karnataka, doubts have been raised about the powers of the Lokayukta with many stating that it would weaken the institution considerably.
The legal advisor to the government of Karnataka, Brijesh Kalappa tells OneIndia that the move is not to weaken the Lokayukta. The decision to set up an Anti Corruption Bureau is in compliance with the Supreme Court and High Court judgments and is also in sync with the Central Lokpal Act.
Not weakening the Lokayukta:
The explanation being given by Brijesh Kalappa the legal advisor to the Government of Karnataka who holds an MoS rank is as follows:
-The Police Wing of the Karnataka Lokayukta will continue to assist the Lokayukta.
-A separate Anti Corruption bureau is being set up to investigate cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
-This decision is to comply with several Supreme Court and High Court Judgments.
-This decision brings Karnataka in sync with the Central Lokpal Act.
-Justice Santosh Hegde has been opposing this decision. He forgets that he was on the drafting committee of the Central Lokpal Act alongwith the Highly Noble Anna Hazare. The drafting committee wanted the arrangement to be EXACTLY in the manner of the present decision of Karnataka.
-Justice Santosh Hegde appears to have forgotten his earlier position with regards to the Lokpal.
-None of the powers of the Lokayukta have been diluted.
-There is nothing in this decision that will make the Lokayukta less efficacious. On the other hand, it will streamline the functioning of the Lokayukta and make it far more focussed on fighting corruption.
-The BJP raising the issue of Lokayukta is ABSURD considering that it was the BJP which appointed both Justice Bhaskar Rao and Justice Adi against both of whom allegations have been made.
-This is a non issue being raised by a section of the media. The public will realise that this is just another bogey with passage of time.
The other view:
Justice Santhosh Hegde, the former Lokayukta of Karnataka tells OneIndia that the setting up of an anti corruption bureau amounts to interference and would eventually render the Lokayukta powerless.
What is the idea behind this decision?
The Lokayukta police have been taken away and the anti corruption bureau has been constituted. This is not an independent body.
There are 8 members who are supervising the new body. This amounts to the curtailing of independence. The interference is likely to start, Justice Hegde also says.
I do not understand the logic behind this move. The Lokayukta is an effective institution and worked independently.
With the setting up of the anti corruption bureau, the Lokayukta will be destablised to a large extent, the former Lokayukta also noted.