Mumbai: Now, file complaint against corrupt public servants with Lokayukta

Updated: 21 October, 2020 08:43 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Anti-corruption ombudsman reaches out to people via WhatsApp to educate them about the procedure to file complaints in corruption matters

Sanjay Bhatia was sworn in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari as the Upa-Lokayukta in August
Sanjay Bhatia was sworn in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari as the Upa-Lokayukta in August

More than a month after former Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) chairman Sanjay Bhatia resigned from his post and took over as Upa-Lokayukta of Maharashtra, Bhatia is exhorting the public to up their awareness about how they can go around filing complaints via this avenue.

By definition

A Lokayukta is, in a nutshell, an anti-corruption authority which investigates allegations of corruption against public servants. It has a second part too, which is redressal of grievances. Bhatia has sent out a WhatsApp communication to his contacts, telling them to spread the message about how to file a complaint with the Lokayukta.

Bhatia has attached a form with his message for people to comprehend the meaning and role of the Lokayukta and then, see how it deals with two separate anti-corruption initiatives, that of allegations and the other of grievances.

Two arms

The background says: ‘allegation’ in relation to a public servant, means any affirmation that such public servant.

Has abused his position as such to obtain any gain or favour to himself or to any other person or to cause undue harm or hardship to any other person.

Was actuated in the discharge of his functions as such public servant by personal interest or improper or corrupt motives, or Is guilty of corruption, or lack of integrity in his capacity as such public servant.

While grievance means a claim by a person that he sustained injustice or undue hardship in consequence of maladministration.

The method

Bhatia refused to comment directly, but sources said that there was a need, "To create so much more awareness about how the Lokayukta is an arrow in the quiver in the fight against corruption. While several persons have a vague idea, they do not know the exact way to use it, or how effective it can be. At times, complaints are given in the wrong format or details are missing, and that means the investigation is stopped or the complaint cannot be taken up. One example of how the Lokayukta can be used in the allegations section is that if a citizen alleges that a road that has been recently made is of very poor quality, he can file a complaint requesting that this road and the contractor’s work on it, including those responsible for getting it done, is inspected. When the Lokayukta sends it, action usually takes place."

Bhatia’s communique reads that those in receipt of his WhatsApp message should, "circulate this information to your friends so that we can jointly take action against corruption."

The complainant has to access https://lokayukta.maharashtra.gov.in

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First Published: 21 October, 2020 08:43 IST

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