A model Lokayukta bill for Tamil Nadu, created through a combination of public participation and expert opinion, was released today. Arappor Iyakkam, a civil society NGO released the Model Tamilnadu Bill for Lokayukta at an event with former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
The organisation has planned to meet leaders of all the political parties in the state and present the model bill.
The expert committee solicited to draft the model bill include Justice Santosh Hegde, senior journalist Gnani Sankaran, Vasanthi Devi, former Vice Chancellor of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Suresh, National Secretary of the PUCL and retired IAS officer Poornalingam.
Hegde, in his address, said, â€śThe role a Lokayukta plays can be potent. It can be used to bring down the strongest ministers, like in the case of Former Karnataka CM Yedyurappa. But the persons in authority can misuse it for their own personal benefit,â€ť referencing Former Lokayukta Bhaskar Raoâ€™s exit after his son was found to have misused his position to run an extortion ring.
The bill is heavily contoured on the basis of the existing Lokayukta acts in Uttarakhand and Karnataka. The draft bill will authorize the Lokayukta to investigate corrupt acts by any public servant, from the Chief Minister to the local councillor, without any sanction or permission from any authority.
It will also establish independence of the office by funding the Lokayukta through the Consolidated Fund of the state.
Anonymous complaints will also be accepted that can be transformed into suo moto investigations, provided prima facie evidence exists.
The bill also proposes the merger of the existing Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption into the independent Lokayukta, in order to form the investigative wing of the Lokayukta.