Madhya Pradesh government has decided that Lokayukta and Deputy Lokayukta will continue on their posts even after retirement if no successor is appointed in their place, subject to a maximum period of one year.
The decision to extend the term of Lokayukta was taken by the state Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday. "The Cabinet decided to amend Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta and Deputy Lokayukta Act-1981's section five to ensure continuity in the post," state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra said.
However, the Cabinet has also decided to put a rider on the issue by clearly stating that this period will not extend beyond one year.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Satyadev Katare at a press conference today alleged that the government has amended the Act with an intention to benefit the current Lokayukta and Deputy Lokayukta in view of pending cases against number of state ministers.
"With this decision, the current Lokayukta will have a term of seven years despite the fact that the Act mentions a five-year period, which the government had earlier extended to six years," Katare said.
"The current Lokayukta's term will end on June 2015 and I fail to understand why this decision was taken by the government in such a manner," he said.
"Is it not possible to find a successor for the above posts in next ten months?" he asked.
Katare also wrote a letter to state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for registering his protest on the issue as he was not consulted for the decision.
In the Lokayukta Act, it is clearly mentioned that Leader of Opposition should be consulted in the appointment of Lokayukta and therefore, it is the duty of the government to consult him even when the tenure of the Lokayukta and his deputy is being extended, he added.