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Kerala Chief Minister meets Governor over Lokayukta ordinance

- February 6, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 6 (BPNS)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who reached the state capital on Sunday early morning after a visit to the United States and the United Arab Emirates met Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. The meeting that was held at Rajbhavan continued for one hour.

Chief Minister apprised the Governor of the new ordinance that the state government is bringing in the Lokayukta and explained the reason for bringing out the new ordinance. Governor, according to sources in Rajbhavan informed the Chief Minister that the Kerala opposition leader has submitted a petition to him against signing the ordinance. Chief Minister, according to sources has apprised the Governor that Section 14 of the Lokayukta Act is against Articles 163 and Article 164 of the constitution and that the Lokayukta infringes upon the rights of the cabinet.

After the Chief Minister personally meeting the Governor, it is now for Arif Mohammed Khan to take a call on the ordinance on Lokayukta and if he does not sign the ordinance then it will have to be discussed in the legislative assembly.

It may be noted that the Kerala Government has brought in an ordinance to amend the Kerala Lokayukta Act in a manner that gives it powers to reject the report of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

The state cabinet had in a meeting had recommended to the Kerala Governor to issue the Ordinance to amend Kerala Lokayukta Act 1999. The amendment is aimed at giving powers to the government to “either accept or reject the verdict of the Lokayukta, after giving an opportunity of being heard”.

During the previous LDF government led by Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister for Higher Education, K.T. Jaleel had to resign after Lokayukta had found that he had abused his office.

Kerala Opposition leader V.D. Satheeshan has in a letter to the Governor said that the proposed ordinance would curtail the power of the Lokayukta to mere advisory in nature.