New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed the Uttarakhand government to appoint the state ombudsman within three months after the passage of the Lokayukta Bill in the assembly.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of the state government that it has already introduced a new Lokayukta Bill in the assembly whiuch was likely to be cleared in the upcoming session.
The bench asked the state to appoint the Lokayukta after the passage of the new law and disposed of the PIL filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
Upadhyay had said the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011 was one of the "best and effective" measures which was unanimously passed by the assembly in 2011.
"This writ petition is being filed...for the implementation of the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011. Uttarakhand is without a Lokayukta since September 2013, while more than 700 complaints related to corruption are pending," his plea said.
The apex court had on August 12 last year sought a response from the state government on the PIL seeking a direction to it to appoint the Lokayukta. The Uttarakhand law brings "the chief minister, all ministers, all legislators and all government servants under the ambit of the Lokayukta with a provision of punishment up to life imprisonment and forfeiture of property", the plea said. Former chief ministers, ministers, MLAs and retired officials also come under its purview, it added. PTI