Retired Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge Justice P Lakshmana Reddy was appointed as the state's new Lokayukta on Monday and will be holding the position for the next five years. He is the first Lokayukta to take charge in Andhra since the state's bifurcation in 2014.
Hailing from Kadapa district, Justice Lakshmana Reddy had begun his career as an advocate in the district court, before he worked his way up to the High Court.
According to media reports, he had unearthed the Yeleru land compensation scam and taken it up in the 1990s, where funds worth several crore rupees, released by the state government as compensation for land to farmers, were allegedly misappropriated by people unconnected to the acquired land.
Media reports also state that he also served as the vice-chairman of the central administrative tribunal in Hyderabad in the 2000s, during which time he quashed the appointments of several senior IAS and IPS officers, who were given postings contrary to cadre rules.
Justice B Subhashan Reddy served as the last Lokayukta for the combined states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after he was appointed to the post in 2012. However, since he stepped down from office, the institution had remained without a chief.
While cases were being heard till December 15, 2017, since then, not a single case has been heard.
The Lokayukta, an autonomous anti-corruption body, is yet to be appointed in Telangana, despite the state government being pulled up for the delay by the High Court. With no Lokayukta, Upa-Lokayukta or a Registrar appointed, all petitions in the premises located at Basheerbagh in Hyderabad are presently being handled by the Sub-Registrar.
An RTI response to TNM from the Public Information Officer of the Lokayukta earlier this year showed that the total number of complaints pending with the institution was a staggering 5,283.
Read: No SHRC, no Lokayukta and a defunct SCPCR: Why justice is elusive in Telangana