Bhubaneswar: The seven-member search committee unanimously selected the Lokayukta chairperson this evening. This was informed by Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi after a meeting of the committee in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
While speaking to the newsmen about the development, Padhi said, “Selection committee has unanimously selected Lokayukta chairperson at a meeting held today and the name will be sent to Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal for his approval.”
“Names of the other members of the Lokayukta will be finalised in the next meeting of the search committee,” he added.
The search committee which was formed in December 2018 under the chairmanship of justice Amitava Roy met this evening. Orissa high court chief justice K S Jhaveri, state Assembly speaker Pradip Amat, leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra and judge Ananga Patnaik are the other members of the selection panel.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the state Chief Secretary on Monday, in an affidavit, informed the Supreme Court that the Lokayukta will be appointed in the state by March 31 and the office of the anti-corruption watchdog will start functioning from April 8.
The search committee had earlier suggested five names for the post of the Lokayukta chairperson and three names each for the five members.
Odisha was one of the first states to pass the Lokayukta Bill in February 2014. The state government notified the Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014 and the Odisha Lokayukta Rules, 2018 on July 7, 2018.
According to the Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014, the chairman will either be a sitting or a retired high court judge. The six-member Lokayukta panel will consist of at least two judicial members. From among the non-judicial members, there should be women, members of the scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and the minority on a rotation basis. The CM and the council of ministers, former chief ministers, elected political representatives and bureaucrats will fall within the ambit of the Lokayukta’s powers.