Sarin told AAP to look at Lokayukta draft for new Act

In 2010, the then sitting Lokayuktas of 19 states in India drafted a Model Lokayukta Bill as a proposal to strengthen the institution. In 2012, the 11th All India Lokayuktas' Conference suggested 10 measures to increase the effectiveness.

According to sources, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had recently approached retired Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin for suggestions and comments on the proposed new Lokayukta Act for Delhi, on similar lines as the Jan Lokpal, and Sarin asked the party to look at the model Bill and the suggestions of the conference.

When asked to comment, AAP minister and advocate Somnath Bharti said while the draft being made by the AAP would not be on similar lines as the model draft, "almost all" of the measures suggested by the conference had been incorporated by the AAP.

Speaking to Newsline, Justice Sarin said one of the major reasons why the Lokayukta institution "has been made ineffective" is because the competent authorities do not accept their recommendations. In his tenure as the Delhi Lokayukta, Sarin said he had to face this dismissive attitude in many cases where his findings were dismissed by the competent authority.

He also suggested that the function of the competent authority, usually the Lt-Governor or the President, had to be "isolated from his executive functions" so that decisions on the Lokayukta recommendations could be taken "on the discretion of the competent authority. According to Sarin, most of the orders of the Lokayukta are "sacrificed at the altar of political expediency".

The suggestions arising out of last year's conference included features such as bringing senior civil servants under the Lokayukta's jurisdiction, mechanism to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Lokayukta, financial and administrative autonomy of the institution, and powers of investigation, search and seizure, among others. The recommendations had also said that the competent authority should take a decision on the basis of the comprehensive report of the Lokayukta itself and not conduct a "further inquiry."

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