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Himachal to bring bill for strong Lokayukta: Virbhadra

Posted on Feb 10 2014 | IANS

Shimla, Feb 10 : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Monday said the state government will bring a bill for strong Lokayukta.

The chief minister said the bill would be introduced in the ongoing assembly session.

"Since the Lokpal has now come at the national level, the state will also bring a bill to strengthen the existing Lokayukta," he said.

Interestingly, the previous government headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2012 passed amendments to the Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta Act, 1983 - in the absence of the opposition Congress party in the assembly - not only to give the ombudsman constitutional and comprehensive powers but also contempt of court powers on par with the high court.

"The bill sent to the president for consent by the previous government has been withdrawn by the present government," said an official.

The government's new bill will seek to repeal the existing act and replace it with another to make it more effective in dealing with corruption, the official said.

Justice (retd) L.S. Panta is currently the state's Lokayukta.

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