Advertisement

In UP, Lokayukta is beyond RTI purview

02:09 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

RATAN MANI LAL Lucknow

In a move that is likely to attract strong reaction from rights activists, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval to a move keeping the office of the Lokayukta out of the purview of the Righ

t to Information ( RTI) Act.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, according to a government spokesman. The Lokayukta, Justice ( retired) N K Mehrotra, is at present conducting a comprehensive inquiry into allegations of misappropriation of funds in the construction of various memorials and parks during the BSP regime in the state.

Advertisement

While during the election campaign the Samajwadi Party had promised to strengthen the office of the Lokayukta, it is learnt that there was a view in the government to maintain secrecy in the Lokayuktas investigation of corruption cases since it is an investigating agency. Any disclosure under the RTI at any stage could adversely affect the course of the investigation, government sources said.

Having done this, the government has not fulfilled the promise of making it a multi- member body and placing the economic offences wing of the police under it. Justice N K Mehrotra was recently given a two- year extension by the state government after his initial six- year term expired on March 15 this year.

The keenness of the government to extend his term can be understood by the fact that the UP Lokayukta and UP Lokayukta ( Amendment) Bill, proposing an extension in the tenure of Lokayukta and his deputy was certified as a ” money bill” so that no amendment in it could be possible.

Another Cabinet decision that may invite an adverse reaction from the Bahujan Samaj Party ( BSP) is that of approving the renaming of the Manyavar Kanshiram Arbi- Farsi University as Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Arbi- Farsi University. The Mayawati- led BSP government had set up this university on the outskirts of Lucknow near the Indian Institute of management ( IIM- L) and named the university after its founder Kanshi Ram. Anis Ansari, a senior IAS official, was made its Vice- Chancellor immediately after his retirement.

Last Monday ( July 23) the state government had also changed the names of eight districts which had been renamed by the previous Mayawati regime. These were Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar ( now renamed Amethi), Rambai Nagar ( Kanpur Dehat), Bheem Nagar ( Sambhal), Prabuddha Nagar ( Shamli) and Pancheel Nagar ( Hapur).

Similarly, Kanshiram Nagar, Mahamaya Nagar and Jyotiba Phule Nagar would now be known as Kasganj, Hathras and Amroha respectively.

Last week itself the name of Lucknows Chhatrapati Shahuji Medical University was changed to its original name King George Medical College ( University). The government official clarified that the renaming was done because the names given by Mayawati were difficult to remember.

Among other Cabinet decisions, approved on Tuesday, was the Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme that had been first launched during the regime of Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2004. The state government has now increased the amount from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 and would be given to girls who have passed Intermediate ( Class XII).

( To view our epaper please Tap here . For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

(To view our epaper please Read Now. For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

Advertisement

Trending :