Lok Ayukta has no jurisdiction to look into complaints against local body staff: Kerala High Court

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A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has reiterated that the Lok Ayukta has no jurisdiction to entertain complaints against the secretary, other employees or officers working under the local self-government institutions (LSGIs) in view of the constitution of the Ombudsman for local self governments.

The Bench, while allowing a petition filed by the Thrissur Corporation Secretary against a Lok Ayukta order, observed that the Ombudsman for local self-government institutions had been constituted with effect from May 5, 2000.

The court added that as per Section 271 G of the Kerala Panchayati Raj Act, the Ombudsman was an authority constituted for conducting investigations and inquiries in respect of corruption, maladministration or irregularities by the local self-government institutions; by an employee or officer working under the LSGIs; by an employee or an officer working in an office or institution transferred to such LSGIs; or by the elected member of LSGIs, including its president or chairperson.

The court observed that the complaint against the Thrissur Corporation Secretary was clearly barred by the provisions of the Act. Therefore, the order by the Lok Ayukta was without jurisdiction and the same requires to be set aside.

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