Odisha

Odisha To Study Supreme Court Order Before Taking Action On Lokayukta Appointment

**Bhubaneswar: ** After the ongoing Budget Session of the Odisha Assembly got disrupted consecutively for the last three days following Opposition’s din protesting against inordinate delay in appointment of Lokayukta in the State here, Odisha Government on Thursday stated in the floor of the House that it will take appropriate action after examining the Supreme Court order on the issue.

Odisha Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh apprised the House that the State Government will examine the Supreme Court order and take appropriate action thereafter.

The Minister informed the members of the House that matters pertaining to the appointment of Lokayuktas in different States are pending before the Supreme Court.
Such a statement came after members of the opposition Congress and BJP created a ruckus for three days since Monday this week over the delay in the appointment of the Lokayukta in Odisha.

Eventually an all-party meeting was convened by Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat on Wednesday to resolve the deadlock in the Assembly. It was resolved that the BJD Government should inform the house of its views on the Lokayukta.

The Opposition during the three-day din had been demanding a reply from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Assembly and an explanation over the delay despite the fact that the Odisha Lokayukta Act had been passed by the House in 2014.

Government Chief Whip Amar Prasad Satpathy later briefed media, “As a case relating to it is sub judice in the Supreme Court. It’s on both the Lokpal and Lokayukta. The concerned States are also waiting for it. That’s why the appointment of Lokayukta in Odisha is being delayed. Even the Opposition has also agreed today that the appointment will take time.”

On the contrary, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra reacted, “Whatever questions we had put, the State Government has no replies on them. That’s why they have taken shelter of the Supreme Court. The case is pending in the Supreme Court and the date of hearing is April 12. The Supreme Court has asked an affidavit from the Chief Secretary here to know if the State’s Lokayukta is functioning or not. The State Government will be bound down to confess that it has not yet. Then they will be bound down to abide by the Supreme Court’s verdict.”

Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati commented, “The Minister could have presented today’s statement three days’ earlier. He deliberately wanted the House not to function. Notwithstanding that, his statement is unsatisfactory.”

BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit remarked, “The Minister’s reply to the House was not satisfactory. Chief Minister should have kept the statement in the House as he had declared then that Odisha will be an ideal State to appoint Lokayukta. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister in his statement said that they are waiting for the Supreme Court’s judgement. Till it comes and analyse, the tenure of this Government will be over and the Lokayukta appointment will go into the cold storage. Although we’re not satisfied with the Minister’s answer, we are cooperating in a bid to make the Assembly run smoothly.”

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