Jayna Kothari examines the procedure to investigate, try and impeach the apex anti-corruption body of the state, the Lokayukta, for corruption. The article is a narration of the provisions of law, relevant authorities and designated police personnel competent to try and investigate such matters.
The Karnataka Lokayukta
has been a pioneering institution to target corrupt government officials. What happens when this anti-corruption institution itself faces corruption allegations? In a situation which is perhaps a first of its kind, it would be important to know what the law mandates and who is empowered to investigate allegations of corruption against the Lokayukta. The Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta can be removed from office under Section 6 of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984
, only by an order of the governor, after each House of the state legislature presents seeks their removal on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity. The investigation of misbehaviour of the Lokayukta is to be done as per procedure provided in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968,
which deals with removal of HC or Supreme Court judges. Under Section 3 of this Act, a committee would be constituted for inquiry.
The committee would have all the powers of a civil court to summon and examine witnesses, frame charges and conduct an inquiry after according the judge Lokayukta a fair opportunity and hearing. The committee would submit its report to the Speaker, which could result in a motion for removal as per constitutional provisions.
The Lokayukta, Upa Lokayukta and their officials are also public servants covered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Therefore, criminal proceedings and investigation of corruption charges can be initiated against them.
Jayna Kothari, 'Probe is Crucial, Who Investigates is not.' (Times of India , 01 Jul 2015) <http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=Probe-is-crucial-who-investigates-is-not-01072015004049> accessed on 23 Oct 2021