Coinciding with the Supreme Court directive to 11 states, Nagaland Governor PB Acharya gave assent to the Nagaland Lokayukta Bill 2017 on Friday.
The Supreme Court on Friday directed chief secretaries of 11 states to explain the five-year delay in appointment of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokayukta and Uplokayukta. The 11 states are Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.
A bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi found several states have not moved a muscle to appoint Lokayuktas despite the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act came into existence in 2013.
The Nagaland Lokayukta Bill 2015 was tabled by former chief minister TR Zeliang in the 12th Nagaland Assembly on July 21, 2015. The House passed the bill with amendments on December 15, 2017.
The governor also gave assent to the Nagaland Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1978 (First Amendment) Bill, 2017 along with the Nagaland Lokayukta Bill.
The Nagaland Lokayukta Bill 2015 was passed with amendment due to relentless pressure from Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation Nagaland and Public Service Aspirants of Nagaland. The two organisations also formed a Public Coordination Committee to pressure the state government on the issue.
The Lokayukta is an ombudsman body to check corruption allegations against administrators and legislators. The Lokayukta Act comes under Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 (Act No.1) of 2014 which makes provision for establishment of Lokayukta for the states to inquire into allegation of corruption against certain public functionaries and in exercise of the provision of section 63 of the Act of 2013 makes provision for passing of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act 2015.