The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed the Maharashtra Lokayukta Bill 2022. The Bill was tabled in the Assembly on Monday.
Cabinet Minister Deepak Kesarkar introduced the Bill which has a provision to bring the Chief Minister and the cabinet under the purview of the anti-corruption ombudsman.
According to the Bill, the Lokayukta will have to seek the approval of the assembly before initiating any inquiry against the chief minister and bringing a motion before the session of the house.
According to the provisions of the Bill, such a proposal would require the approval of at least two-thirds of the total members of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
The Bill also states that the Lokayukta will not investigate cases involving allegations of corruption against the Chief Minister, which are related to internal security or public order. It is also provided that any such inquiry shall be kept secret and if the Lokayukta comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry shall not be published or made available to anyone.
As per the provision, the Lokayukta shall have a Chairperson, who shall be a present or former Chief Justice of a High Court. Apart from this, there will be a judge of the Supreme Court or the Bombay High Court. The Lokayukta shall have a maximum of four members, of whom two shall be from the judiciary.
The selection committee for the appointment of the Lokayukta Chairperson and Members will consist of the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker of the Legislative Council, the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and the Council, and a judge nominated by the Chief Justice or Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
The bill introduced in the assembly states that no appointment of Lokayukta chairman or member will be invalid in the absence of anyone in the selection committee.