Mizoram Law Minister Lalsawta today said that the state government was making efforts to meet the deadline of establishing Lokayukta before February 28.
The recent AICC meeting had decided that all the Congress-ruled states should have Lokayukta before February end. Lalsawta told PTI that the Lokayukta drafting committee, headed by state Law Secretary P Singthanga, had completed its task on January 30 and detailed scrutiny was being conducted under his supervision. "We would re-examine the draft bill on Wednesday," he said, adding it would be placed before the state Cabinet soon.
He said the main hurdle in setting up of the ombudsman would be acute financial problems being faced by the state. "We wanted the Lokayukta to be totally independent, which included the investigating wing and the prosecution," the law minister said.
According to the draft bill, the Lokayukta would be headed by a person placed at the rank of the Chief Justice of a high court and members at the rank of a high court judge. There would be no one on deputation among the officials of the Lokayukta and the state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), being under the state government would not be used as its investigating agency, Lalsawta said.
"This would require a huge amount of money and we would be approaching the visiting Finance Commission to allocate fund for establishment of the Lokayukta," he said.
The draft bill said the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues would be within the ambit of the ombudsman. The state government would constitute a search committee for appointment of Lokayukta and other members while the Selection Committee would comprise the chief minister, speaker of the state legislature, leader of the opposition and the chief justice of the Gauhati High Court. The term of the Lokayukta and the members would be five years after which they would be prohibited to hold any official position under the government.