The Supreme Court on Friday asked 10 states for non-appointment of Lokayukta/ Up-Lokayukta

Why in news?

The Supreme Court on Friday asked 10 states and the Union Territory of Puducherry to explain why they had not appointed a Lokayukta or Up- Lokayukta and what steps had been taken to fill the post. “It appears that Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh have not appointed any Lokpal, Lokayukta or Up-Lokayukta,” said a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi. It asked the chief secretaries to “inform the court within two weeks as to whether steps have been taken for appointment of Lokyukta/ Up-Lokayukta and if so the stage thereof.”

Highlights

• The reasons for non-appointment of Lokayukta/ Up-Lokayukta…be also laid before the court in the aforesaid affidavit(s) to be filed by the chief secretaries,” the bench directed. The bench also asked the Odisha government to apprise it on the status of the Lokayukat, if any, in the state.
• The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Delhi BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman as laid down in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. He contended that though the Act received presidential assent on January 1, 2014 and came into force from January 16, 2014, the executive had not acted on it yet.
• “Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, envisages that every state shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Act. However, many states have not done so till date. And many states have not passed the Lokayukta Act in consonance with the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013,” he said in his plea.
• “An autonomous Lokpal at the Centre and an independent Lokayukta in all the states, in the spirit of the Act 2013, is necessary for redressal of citizens’ grievances related to corruption in a time-bound manner, and a citizens’ charter in every department is necessary to ensure time-bound delivery of goods and services,” he said, as he sought direction to the states to provide adequate budgetary allocation and essential infrastructure for effective functioning of Lokayuktas.
• During the hearing, the bench asked advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, appearing for Upadhyay, which states had appointed Lokayukta. When the counsel replied that he did not have the requisite information, the bench referred to a note and said the 10 states and Puducherry did not appear to have filled the vacancies yet.
• On Odisha, there was no clarity on whether the state had a Lokayukta. Accordingly, the bench directed its chief secretary to file an affidavit “as to whether the office of the Lokayuka/ Up-Lokayukta in the state is functional.”
• On Lokpal, the Centre had told the apex court earlier this month that the appointment process was on, and a meeting of the selection committee chaired by the Prime Minister was held on March 1. The court will hear the matter next on April 12.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, commonly known as The Lokpal Act, is an anti-corruption Act of Indian Parliament in India which “seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connecting them”. The Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on 22 December 2011 and was passed by the House on 27 December as The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011.

Salient features of Lokpal, Lokayuktas Bill

• Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of the states.
• Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50 per cent shall be judicial members.
• 50 per cent of members of Lokpal shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.
• The selection of chairperson and members of Lokpal shall be through a selection committee consisting of Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI, eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India on the basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee.
• Prime Minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal.
• Lokpal’s jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants.
• All entities receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs 10 lakh per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
• Provides adequate protection for honest and upright public servants.
• Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
• A high powered committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI.
• Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director.
• The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.
• Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal.
• The bill also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.
• The bill lays down clear time lines for preliminary enquiry and investigation and trial and towards this end, the bill provides for setting up of special courts.
• A mandate for setting up of the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within a period of 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.
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mySamasati
A NEW DAY

In the morning remember it is a new day, a new beginning. Have a decision deep in your heart that “Today I am not going to waste this opportunity. Enough is enough! Today I am going to be aware, today I am going to be alert, today I am going to devote as much energy as possible to the single cause, the cause of meditation. I will meditate in all my acts. I will do all the activities, the usual day-to-day activities, but with a new quality: I will bring the quality of awareness to them.”

Osho

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HOW TO BECOME MORE AWARE?

Pankaj, by becoming more aware, one BECOMES more aware. There is no other method to it. It is a simple process. Whatsoever you are doing, do it with such consciousness as if it is a question of life and death; as if a sword is hanging over you.

There is an ancient story in India:

A great sage sent his chief disciple to the court of King Janak to learn something which was missing in the young man.

The young man said, “If you can’t teach me, how can this man, this Janak, teach it to me? You are a great sage, he is only a king. What does he know about meditation and awareness?”

The great sage said, “You simply follow my instructions. Go to him, bow down to him; don’t be egoistic, thinking that you are a sannyasin and he is only an ordinary householder. He lives in the world, he is worldly and you are spiritual. Forget all about it. I’m sending you to him to learn something; so for this moment, he is your master. And I know, I have tried here, but you cannot understand – because you need a different context to understand it. And the court of Janak and his palace will give you the right context. You simply go, bow down to him. For these few days, he will represent me.”

Very reluctantly, the young man went. He was a brahmin of high caste, and what was this Janak? He was rich, he had a great kingdom, but what could he teach a brahmin?

Brahmins always think that they can teach people. And Janak was not a brahmin, he was a KSHATRIYA, the warrior race in India. They are thought to be second to brahmins; the brahmins are the first, the foremost, the highest caste. To bow down to this man? This has never been done. A brahmin bowing down to a kshatriya is against the Indian mind.

But the master had said it so it had to be done. Reluctantly he went, and reluctantly he bowed down. And when he bowed down, he was really feeling very angry with his master, because the situation in which he had to bow down to Janak was so ugly in his eyes.

A beautiful woman was dancing in the court and people were drinking wine. And Janak was sitting in this group. The young man had such condemnation, but still he bowed down. Janak laughed and said, “You need not bow down to me when you are carrying such condemnation in you. And don’t be so prejudiced before you have experienced me. Your master knows me well, that’s why he has sent you here. He has sent you to learn something, but this is not the way to learn.”

The young man said, “I don’t care. He has sent me, I have come. But by the morning I will go back, because I can’t see that I can learn anything here. In fact, if I learn anything from you, my whole life will be wasted. I have not come to learn drinking wine and seeing a beautiful woman dance and all this indulgence.”

Janak still smiled and he said, “You can go in the morning. But since you have come and you are so tired… at least rest for the night, and in the morning you can go. And who knows – the night may become the context of the learning for which your master has sent you to me.”

Now, this was very mysterious. How could the night teach him anything? But okay, he had to be here for the night, so don’t make much fuss about it. He remained. The king arranged for him to have the most beautiful room in the palace, the most luxurious. He went with the young man, took every care about his food, his sleep and when he had gone to bed, Janak left.

But the young man could not sleep the whole night, because as he looked up, he could see a naked sword hanging with a thin thread just above his head. Now, it was so dangerous that at any moment the sword could fall and kill the young man. So he remained awake the whole night, watchful, so he could avoid the catastrophe if it was going to happen.
In the morning, the king asked, “Was the bed comfortable, the room comfortable?”

The young man said, “Comfortable? Everything was comfortable – but what about the sword? And why did you play such a trick? It was so cruel! I was tired, I had come on foot from the faraway ashram of my master in the forest, and you played such a cruel joke. What kind of thing is this, to hang a naked sword with so thin a thread that I was afraid that a small breeze… and I am gone, and I am finished. And I have not come here to commit suicide.”

The king said, “I want to ask only one thing: you were so tired, you could have fallen asleep very easily, but you could not fall asleep. What happened? The danger was great, it was a question of life and death. Hence you were aware, alert. This is my teaching too. You can go, or if you want, you can stay a few more days to watch me.

“Although I was sitting there in the court, where a beautiful woman was dancing, I was alert to the naked sword above my head. It is invisible; its name is death. I was not looking at the young woman. Just as you could not enjoy the luxury of the room, I was not drinking wine. I was just aware of death which could come any moment. I am constantly aware of death. Hence, I live in the palace and yet I am a hermit. Your master knows me, understands me. He understands my understanding too. That’s why he has sent you here. If you live here for a few days, you can watch on your own.”

You asked me, Pankaj, how to become more aware. Become more aware of the precariousness of life. Death can happen any moment. The next moment, it may knock on your door. You can remain unaware if you think you are going to live forever. How can you live unaware if death is always close by? Impossible! If life is momentary, a soap bubble – just a pin prick and it is gone forever – how can you remain unaware?

Bring awareness to each act. Walking on the road, walk fully alert; eating, eat with awareness. Whatsoever you are doing, don’t let the past and the future interfere. Be in the present. That’s what awareness is all about.
 OSHO

A Play of Consciousness

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A really mature person cannot be serious, there is nothing to be serious about. The whole of life is fun, it is a play, a play of consciousness. And that’s what meditation reveals to you – that the whole of life is a beautiful play of energy.

The same energy is in the trees, in the stars, in the rivers, in the mountains, in you, in animals. It is the same energy dancing in different forms. We in the East have called it ‘leela’. Leela means god’s play.

Osho