‘Lokayukta most potent weapon to expose corrupt’

IMPHAL, 21st Dec: Manipur State Legal Services Authority (MASLSA) in collaboration with Lokayukta Manipur organised a one-day State Level Awareness Programme on ‘Implementation of the Provisions of the Manipur Lokayukta Act 2014’, at the auditorium of High Court of Manipur here Saturday.
Presided over by Lokayukta Manipur chairperson T Nandakumar Singh, the programme was attended by Law Minister L Jayantakumar Singh as chief guest, while High Court of Manipur judge Justice Kh Nobin Singh, and Lokayukta Manipur members Justice BD Agarwal and Ameising Luikham were present as guests of honour.
In his speech, Jayantakumar said that amidst so many crises, the two and half years old BJP-led government in the state has now introduced the long awaited "Lokayukta”, an anti-corruption ombudsman organisation. Lokayukta or ombudsman is a public officer/Institution whose function is to investigate the grievances raised by the citizens regarding mal-administration of the government authorities, he explained.
He continued that through this institution, citizens have the legitimate power to lodge complaint against the authorities concerned if there are gross lapses in the functioning of the public administration. Moreover, Lokayukta can be empowered to investigate cases of corruption in any form, not only against government officials but also against the judges and the Ministers irrespective of their rank and file, the law minister said adding that ombudsman is something like a tool or device to make democracy more meaningful and free from any stigma.
“Usually, we find that ordinary people are the victim of negligence of public administration or wrong policy of the government or corruption of government officials and selected members of the Assembly running the government. To maintain the true spirit of democracy, there ought to be an institution whose main function shall be to oversee whether proper policies are adopted and more importantly, whether the adopted policies are properly executed,” he added.
“Ombudsman protects individuals from injustice done to them by any of the three organs of the Government-Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. We should maintain and not forget that no one is above law”, Minister remarked.
He went on to say that corruption, as everybody knows, creates a sense of bitter feeling to everybody that keeps him or her at a distance from the decision makers. This distance makes them feel abandoned or even rejected and they eventually lose interest in public matters. It is a hard blow to the spirit of democracy and Ombudsman is a solution to these grievances, he asserted.
“The commissioning of Lokayukta under The Lokpal Lokayukta Act, 2013 in Manipur is one of the greatest achievements of the present government and I do believe, with the functioning of this Lokayukta, the real meaning of the Democracy will be materialised to the fullest extent”, Jayantakumar stated.
During the awareness programme, MASLSA panel advocate and LMS Law College Imphal lecturer Ch Momon Singh spoke on the topic of ‘Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 in the Context of Manipur’, while LMS Law College Imphal Associate Prof Dr N Pramod spoke on the topic of ‘Analytical View on the Provisions of the Manipur Lokayukta Act 2014’ as resource persons.

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