UPSC Exam   »   Kerala Lok Ayukta Act

The Editorial Analysis- Wrong Route

Wrong Route- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

The Editorial Analysis- Wrong Route_40.1

 

Wrong Route- Context

  • Recently Kerala government proposed to amend its Lok Ayukta Act through an ordinance. The decision to amend Lok Ayukta Act is being criticized as it appears questionable and hasty.
  • Both the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the BJP have appealed to the Governor not to promulgate the ordinance cleared by the Cabinet.

Jurisdiction of Lok Adalat

 

 

Kerala Lok Ayukta Act: Present Provision and Proposed Amendment

  • Present Provision: Lok Ayukta Act makes it binding on a public servant to discontinue the public office, against whom an allegation is substantiated by the Lok Ayukta.
  • Proposed Amendments: It amends section 14 of the Lok Ayukta Act that allows the Lok Ayukta to direct a public servant to vacate office if an allegation is substantiated. Key Amendments are listed below-
    • The Governor, the government or the authority may decide on the Lok Ayukta’s finding within three months.
    • It also seeks to provide for an appeal mechanism against Lok Ayukta’s decisions.

 

Wrong Route- Key Issues

  • Hasty Decision: Kerala Government’s proposed amendments give an impression that it is in an unseemly hurry.
    • For example, amending a provision that allows the anti-corruption judicial body (Lok Ayukta) to direct a public servant to vacate office, if an allegation is substantiated.
  • Dilution of Lok Ayukta Law: the change may dilute section 14 of the Lok Ayukta law which is its most stringent provision.
  • Promoting Favoritism and Nepotism: Critics also blame that the proposal may be linked to ongoing inquiries by the Lok Ayukta against members of the Cabinet.
    • In April 2021, Minister for Higher Education and Minority Welfare K.T. Jaleel had to resign after the Lok Ayukta found him guilty of nepotism.

 

 

Wrong Route- Government’s Argument

  • Unconstitutional Provision: Kerala Government says section 14 of the Lo Ayukta Act is unconstitutional.
    • The Government said that section amounts to the removal of a Minister duly appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister and violates Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution.
  • Lack of Appeal Mechanism: The Kerala Government says that in the present act, there is no provision for appeal for the alleged individual.

 

 

Wrong Route- Conclusion

  • A regime truly disposed towards corruption-free governance should not normally be worried about a law that allows an independent judicial forum to direct a public servant to leave office.
  • If it has well-founded reservations about the process, it should not be chary of introducing relevant amendments in the Assembly.

Subhas Chandra Bose- Statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to be installed at India Gate

Subhas Chandra Bose- Statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to be installed at India Gate

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