Earlier, the Supreme Court halted a Lokayukta police investigation against former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa. The Lokayukta police had filed a first information report (FIR) against Yediyurappa on charges of bribery.
However, the pendency of cases in the Karnataka Lokayukta has decreased from 18,299 recorded in 2008, the overall pendency has increased by 773.4 percent in 2020 from 780 in 2005. The disposal of cases has accelerated by 14 percent in the same five year period.
India has a Lokayukta in 29 states but only seven of these states have made their annual reports accessible to the public. Even the Lokpal, which was established in 2014, has released its annual reports for only two years 2019 and 2020.
Lokayuktas are mandated by their respective state Lokayukta Act to present a consolidated annual report on their performance to their state governor. Ten states, infact, are yet to set up official websites for their Lokayukats. Among these ten in Delhi, where the Lokayukta Act was passed in 1995.
Supreme Court advocate Kaleeswaram Raj said “ An independent and efficacious anti-corruption forum is always disliked or feared by those in power. The Lokpal or the Lokayukatas also could not set right the executive apathy since they practically depended upon the executive. They had neither the purse nor sword”, adding he said further that Lokayuktas will be more efficient if they are made free from political wrangling and if the appointments are “merits-oriented”. “In my view, the Supreme Court and the respective high court should take the present situation seriously and oversee the functioning of these institutions, by adopting the device of ‘continuing mandamus’.