Tamil Nadu Lokayukta Bill unfair, diluted, say jurists

Senior jurists have said the legislation to constitute a Lokayukta for Tamil Nadu is “unfair” and “diluted” and claimed that many of its provisions defeat the essence and purpose of having such an anti-corruption panel. The legislation was passed by the Assembly on Monday amid a walkout by Opposition legislators. DMK working president and leader of opposition in the Assembly M K Stalin had called the Bill toothless.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Tamil Nadu government for delay in appointing a Lokayukta and set a deadline of July 10.

P K Mishra, Lokayukta chief in Goa and the former Chief Justice of Patna High Court, termed as “unfair” one of the clauses in the Tamil Nadu legislation that provides for a year in prison and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh for those who make a “false and frivolous or vexatious complaint under the law”. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said there were discussions in Goa in 2013 to make the fine a minimum of Rs 1 Lakh.

“But it was not implemented as it was against the spirit of the anti-corruption panel,” he said. Now, false petitions in Goa can attract a fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

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