Delay in Lokayukta probes proving to be boon for officials’

The Legislative Council Assurance Committee has come down heavily on the functioning of the Lokayukta and has said that the institution failed to complete several investigations into corruption cases against public servants, some of which being around 15-20 years old.

The institution is empowered to redress grievances of citizens and also investigate allegations against public servants. However, it is turning out to be a “blessing” for public servants because of the inordinate delay, noted the Legislative Council Committee on Assurances headed JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti.

“Even when the involvement of employees in corruption is proved in the preliminary investigation of the Lokayukta, the departments deliberately deny or delay providing relevant information/documents to the institution. There has been delay in taking action to vacate stay orders against officers/employees to enable them to get promotion/retirements benefits by treating them as not guilty,” Mr. Horatti said in the 21-page report for 2016-17.

The panel said the Lokayukta, which had cracked down on illegal mining in Ballari district a few years ago, had delayed completion of probes in a majority of corruption cases involving senior officials.

In an interesting case, the PWD had filed a report on the collapse of the Mini Vidhana Soudha before its inauguration in 1985 in Nanjangud of Mysuru district and had recommended action against officials for the inferior quality of works. But, the Lokayukta submitted a ‘B’ report in the case in 2014. “This clearly indicates the probe was not done properly,” the panel said. The panel also observed that the government advocate did not file a review petition challenging the report. At a meeting held on December 16, 2016, the Registrar of the Lokayukta had been asked to submit an enquiry report.

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