11 February 2019
Bhubaneswar: The selection of members for Odisha Lokayukta will be complete by March 31 and the anti-corruption ombudsman organization will start functioning from April 8, stated the State Government in an affidavit filed by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Reportedly, the apex court had on April 19, 2018, directed Padhi to submit a status report on the steps taken for appointment of a Lokayukta before July 10 as Odisha Government in its affidavit submitted on April 9 had informed that Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014 has come into force with effect from January 16, 2015 and the process for framing of the Odisha Search Committee Rules were under process.
Later in October, 2018, the Odisha Government had sought three months time to complete the process but it was rejected by the Supreme Court and Padhi was again directed to specify the date for appointment of Lokayukta.
Accordingly, on December 10, 2018, the Selection Committee for Odisha Lokayukta, headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had met and finalised members of the ‘Search Committee’, which would enlist five people for the post of Lokayukta chairperson and 15 for Lokayukta members.
The Search Committee had been given a month's time to put forth their names to the selection panel which would then select a 6-member Lokayukta Mandal.
It is worthwhile to mention that Odisha was the first State to pass the Lokayukta Bill in the State Assembly on February 14, 2014, after passing of the Lokpal Bill in the Parliament in December 2013. The Bill received presidential assent in February 2015.