ANI Photo | Kerala LoP Satheesan alleges “unholy nexus” between CPI (M) and Sangh Parivar after President’s approval of Kerala Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill

Leader of the Opposition in Kerala, VD Satheesan, said on Thursday that President Droupadi Murmu gave assent to the Kerala Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill because Sangh Parivar is “having an unholy nexus” with the ruling CPI (M).
According to a statement issued by the Kerala Raj Bhavan on Thursday, President Murmu gave assent to the Kerala Lok Ayukta Amendment Bill, 2022.
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had sent the bill passed by the Assembly in 2022 for presidential assent. The approval of the bill by the president has been considered as a political victory for the ruling LDF (Left Democratic Front).
However, Satheesan said that the amendment weakened the institution of Lokayukta in Kerala.
“The government weakened the Lokayukta as an institution. There is no anti-corruption mechanism in Kerala. The last hope was Lokayukta; now they have plucked the tooth of Lokayukta,” Satheesan told ANI.
“If Lokayukta finds a minister corrupt, then the hearing will be done by the Chief Minister. Sangh Parivar is having an unholy nexus with CPI (M), which is why this was an immediate decision by the President,” he added.
The amendment curtailed the powers of the Lok Ayutka to ban a public servant from holding office if found guilty of maladministration and corruption.
Instead, it gives the political executive appellate authority over Lok Ayukta’s declaration.
In the case of any unfavourable decision from the Lok Ayukta against the Chief Minister, the competent authority under the existing Act will now be the Assembly instead of the Governor.
In the case of an MLA, the Speaker will be the competent authority. In contrast, in the case of ministers, the Chief Minister will be the competent authority.
The competent authorities will also now have the option to accept or reject the Lok Ayukta recommendations.
The LDF had argued that the amendment was necessitated by the fact that the existing law placed a statutory body above democratically elected ministers and MLAs.
Moreover, Lok Ayutka’s order was absolute and insulated from appeal in the Higher Court. Such absolute authority that ran against the grain of natural justice was constitutionally unsustainable, the LDF argued

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