Assam to Bring New Lokayukta Bill in Next Session

The Assam government today said it will introduce a new Lokayukta Bill in line with the central legislation during the next Assembly session.

Presenting Assam's interim Budget for 2014-15, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, "I propose to introduce a fresh Bill, called the Assam Lokayukta Bill 2014, in the next session of the Assembly so as to strengthen the institution of Lokayukta by giving it more powers."

The draft Bill is at the final stage of consultation with various departments as per procedure, he said.

Assam currently has a Lokayukta under the Assam Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta Act 1985 and the new legislation will repeal this.

"The proposed new Lokayukta Institution will be empowered to enquire into and investigate the allegations of corruption against various public functionaries under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. The existing Lokayukta has no such powers," Gogoi, who is also the state finance minister, said.

The new Bill is in conformity with the central Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013, he said.

As per the draft Bill, the current and former Chief Ministers, existing and formers ministers, and current and former MLAs will come under the purview of the Act.

Besides, all government employees of all grades, staff of companies, societies or trusts that are set up, financed or controlled by the state government will come under the new Act, Gogoi said.