IndiaWest Bengal: Lokayukta did not complete even an inquiry...

West Bengal: Lokayukta did not complete even an inquiry in the first 26 months of his tenure

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As per the West Bengal Lokayukta Act, 2003, any inquiry must be completed within one year. Information obtained under RTI shows that Lokayukta Ashim Kumar Roy, who ended his three-year term on January 10, did not complete any investigation in the initial 26 months.

Justice Ashim Kumar Roy. (Photo: https://www.calcuttahighcourt.gov.in/)

Kolkata: Right to Information (RTI) information has revealed that West Bengal Lokayukta Ashim Kumar Roy, who ended his three-year term on January 10, had not completed even an inquiry in the first 26 months of his tenure. .

Whereas according to the West Bengal Lokayukta Act, 2003, any inquiry must be completed within one year.

Between 11 January 2019 and 22 March 2021, the Lokayukta received 30 complaints, out of which 16 were disposed of.

However, the Lokayukta’s office did not clarify what it meant by ‘redressal of complaints’. Because the original answer states that no investigation has been completed yet.

The post of Lokayukta of the state is similar to that of the Lokpal of the Centre. It is selected by a committee consisting of the Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition of the respective state. It investigates corruption of bureaucrats, corruption of government employees and public representatives.

RTI was filed by Vishwanath Goswami. Let us tell you that the post of Lokayukta was vacant in Bengal from 2009 to 2019. Ashim Kumar was appointed on 11 January 2019. He became the second Lokayukta of the state.

The RTI replies showed that a total of 240 cases were pending with the Lokayukta since 2007 when Roy took over. In the first 26 months of his tenure, between January 11, 2019, and March 22, 2021, 30 more complaints were filed.

Out of these total 270 complaints, 143 registered before January 2019 and 15 during Roy’s tenure were disposed of.

However, the RTI reply refused to give any details about any of the complaints. It was argued in its favor that no case has yet reached a state that its information can be given or it is in the process of investigation.

The RTI reply, citing sections 10(2)(a) and 16 of the West Bengal Lokayukta Act, 2003, states that confidentiality is exercised in every preliminary inquiry, due to which the identity of the complainant and the public servant concerned cannot be disclosed. can.

It has also been said in the reply that so far no complaint has been found to be baseless or has been filed with malicious intent.

Goswami, who applied RTI, has called the answers misleading. He raises the question, ‘Neither has any case reached such a stage that it can recommend action, nor any complaint has been found to be false or baseless, but still ‘158 cases have been disposed of. How is this possible?’ Therefore, he also appealed against this answer.

An officer of Lokayukta office on the condition of confidentiality the wire “When the preliminary investigation shows no possibility of proceeding further, they are also counted as settled cases. The delay in completing the investigation was largely due to the pandemic.

However, if you compare Maharashtra with states like Odisha and Karnataka, the number of cases registered with the Lokayukta is in the thousands and all these states also give details of complaints handling.

(Click here to read this report in English.)

Categories: India, Special

Tagged as: 2003, Ashim Kumar Roy, Lokayukta, News, Right to Information, Right to Information Act, RTI, The Wire Hindi, West Bengal, West Bengal Lokayukt Act

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