Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the office of Lokayukta will start functioning from April 8 in the State.
The State’s assurance came after a Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took a stern view of the non-appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman in the State during the previous hearing.
Through an affidavit, the State Government informed the Supreme Court that the Lokayukta appointment process will be completed in State by April 8.
During the last hearing in the case on October 24 last year, the apex court while expressing dissatisfaction on the State’s affidavit directed Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi to appear before it personally on February 11.
Accordingly, Padhi appeared before the court today and submitted the affidavit which stated that Lokayukta will start functioning from April 8 onwards and appointment of Lokayukta will be tentatively done by March 31.
Odisha was the first state to pass a bill to set up the Lokayukta in February, 2014. The Bill had received Presidential assent on January 28, 2015. However, inordinate delay was noticed for appointment of Lokayukta.
And a PIL was filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in the apex courier, on implementation of the anti-corruption laws by various States and the Centre.