Delhi state has no Lokayukta (Ombudsman) at present. The vacancy has been lying vacant since the retirement of Justice Sarin several months back. Delhi has no elected government and hence the vacancy has not been filled up. The Lieutenant Governor (LG)- since Delhi is under President rule- has no direct constitutional means to fill the vacancy. In absence of a Lokayukta, a window of grievance redressal and anti-corruption activism has been shut off for the citizens. It is apparent that common man continues to suffer in absence of a Lokayukta. A news paper has reported that the office of Lokayukta located near ITO has been languishing in absence of the a head.
Delhi state needs an elected government at the earliest. When Mr. Arvind Kejriwal left as Delhi Chief Minister in February, 2014, he had recommended dissolution of the legislative assembly so as to pave the way for fresh elections. However, the Lieutenant Governor did not accede to his advice and has kept the assembly in suspended animation. An assembly kept is suspended animation gives enough ammunition to play foul. The whole country has been witness to the vigorous and frenetic efforts made by BJP in last several months to try to cobble up a majority by enticing the sitting MLAs of the Congress party. In other words, horsetrading is an art that BJP has excelled in. So far, thanks to an activist player like Aam Aadmi party (AAP) that has upset BJP’s apple cart by exposing its misdeed to the public.
AAP on its part has intensified the efforts to demand elections as soon as possible. At the same time, it is asking a pertinent question: “Why is BJP running away from elections?” AAP is mobilizing public opinion on these issues. As a part of this movement, the party has planned a massive public rally at Jantar Mantar on coming Sunday,ie, August 3.
Lokayukta can play an important role in bringing transparency and accountability in the governmental departments , but, alas, the important constitutional office has been lost in the details of finding an elected government. The ill-effects of not having a Lokayukta adds another pound of burden on the common man who is looking for respite!
It may be noted that Aam Aadmi Party believes that the existing channel of Lokayukta is not meaningful enough to curb corruption and has demanded a more potent law called “Janlokpal Bill”.