NGO to seek TN parties’ vote for Lokayukta

With a recent survey indicting Tamil Nadu as the most corrupt state in India and the absence of an effective system to check corruption at all levels, a city-based civil society organisation has decided to put pressure on political parties to set up a Lokayukta in the state
NGO to seek TN parties’ vote for Lokayukta
Arappor Iyakkam’s Lokayukta Bill will be launched in Chennai

Chennai

A civil society organisation, Arappor Iyakkam, campaigning for a Lokayukta in the state feels that since the political parties will be all ears ahead of the election, this is the right time to press their demand through an intensified campaign. 
“Even though the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act came into force in 2014, the state is yet to form Lokayukta and so we have prepared the citizen’s version of Lokayukta Bill for the state,” V Jayaram, Convener of Arappor Iyakkam told DtNext. 
The model Lokayukta Bill prepared by the organisation with expert guidance from legal luminaries and eminent citizens will be launched by former Lokayukta of Karnataka state Santosh Hegde and anti-corruption crusader Prashant Bhushan on Saturday. 
“During the last few years, leaders from a few political parties in the state have voiced their support for Lokayukta, but we are not sure how serious they are,” Jayaram said. In the next step, the organisation has planned to meet leaders of all the political parties in the state and present the model Bill.“We are not demanding that the model Bill should be adopted as such, but we want the Lokayukta to be completely independent,” he pointed out. 
According to him, they will insist all the state political parties to include setting up of Lokayukta in their manifestos. “If the party that forms the next government is hesitant to set up the Lokayukta, we will organise a social movement to pressurise the government,” he said. 
It may be recalled that the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill was introduced in Parliament only after massive public protests led by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and after support poured in from many parts of the country. Revealing the details of the model Bill to DTNext, Ramiah Ariya, coordinator of Arappor Iyakkam said that their main demand is that the Lokayukta should be selected by a panel with majority judges and include leader of opposition. 
“This will ensure that the Lokayukta is independent enough to investigate all public servants including MLAs, ministers and even the Chief Minister,” he said and added that it should not need any sanctions for investigating any public servant.

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