The Maharashtra government has brought the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) under the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta, reports Deccan Chronicle. With this move of the state government, the Lokayukta will now have the powers to interrogate the Chief Minister in-camera.
State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chaired the Cabinet meeting that took this decision. Furthermore, it has been decided in the meeting to bring in all inclusiveness and transparency in the process of appointing the Lokayukta and the Upa-Lokayukta.
According to the report, it is not mandatory for states to include the Chief Minister under the purview of the Lokayukta, as per the present Lokpal and Lokayukta Act. However, the Maharashtra Cabinet took the decision and became one of the few states to confer more powers on the Lokayukta.
Social activist Anna Hazare, who was for some time demanding that the CMO be brough under the ambit of the Lokayukta, has welcomed the state government’s decision. The move is being seen as the state government agreeing to the demands made by Hazare.
“Apart from the Chief Minister, Ministers and Opposition leaders will also be brought under the ambit of the Lokayukta. This is a very good move to ensure corruption-free governance,” State Minister of Water Resources Girish Mahajan was quoted in the report as saying.
As per the report, the Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman in the states with an objective to help people publicise corruption among politicians and government officials.
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