The Lokayukta Khanduri wanted, and the Lokayukta Modi wants
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Earlier this month, Narendra Modi referred to the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, 2011, during a speech in Dehradun, questioning why the Congress government in the state has been sitting on the bill, passed while the BJP was in power and since cleared by the President.
The current government, however, would rather incorporate the provisions of the Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament than settle for what the previous government cleared. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has said Uttarakhand would adopt the central law.
In Modi's Gujarat, too, the Lokayukta Commission Bill of 2013 has been pending amid a dispute between the government and the governor, who feels the bill underplays the role of the Gujarat chief justice and makes the chief minister the supreme authority in the appointment of the Lokayukta. With minor changes, and still giving limited powers to the Lokayukta, the government passed the bill a second time in the monsoon session and sent it back to the governor, with whom it is pending. In November, retired judge D P Buch was appointed Lokayukta under the existing Gujarat Lokayukta Act of 1986.
In terms of independence and powers of investigation, the bill of the B C Khanduri-led BJP government in Uttarakhand provides for stronger powers than the new Gujarat bill does:
Uttarakhand: Lokayukta is an institution headed by a chairperson and with five to seven members.
Gujarat: It is a commission, headed by a Lokayukta and with up to four Upa-lokayuktas.
Uttarakhand: Officials of all government and semi-government bodies, the lower judiciary, the chief minister and former chief ministers, all MLAs including ministers.
Gujarat: Chief minister, other ministers, state public servants, officials in local authority, university, board or corporation owned and run by state.
Uttarakhand: By a committee of seven persons, only two of them part of the state government. A search committee of five members nominated by the selection committee will invite nominations and prepare a shortlist.
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