Appointing Lokayukta is underway, Delhi govt tells HC

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The Delhi Government on Thursday apprised the High Court that the process for appointing a Lokayukta is underway and even a meeting in this regard was held on February 10.

In response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the Delhi government’s standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi submitted the city government’s stand in the matter before the court. During the course of the hearing, Tripathi said the process of appointing Lokayukta is of top priority and even a name has also been recommended in this regard.

Noting the submissions, the Division Bench presided over by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh slated the matter for further hearing on April 29.

In the PIL, the petitioner and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay said the post of Lokayukta has been lying vacant since December 2020.

The petitioner, also a BJP leader, pointed out that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came into existence in the capital on promise of an independent and effective Lokayukta in the 2020 Assembly Election Manifesto, and also in the 2015 and 2013 Assembly Election Manifestos. However, they are still using outdated and ineffective 1995 Act, the plea said.

“Political parties are promising irrational freebies but not fulfilling essential promises. So, the danger to democracy and Indian republic cannot be gainsaid,” it said.

The PIL further alleged, “When Justice Reva Khetrapal retired as Delhi Lokayukta, the Government did nothing to fill the post till date and hundreds of complaints relating to corruption are pending in the office.

“Seeking directions from the court, Upadhyay said, “Court may issue appropriate writ order and directions to weed-out the menace of corruption, black money, Benami transaction and improve India’s pathetic ranking in Corruption Perception Index.

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