Ordinance to Amend the Kerala Lokayukta Act


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    What are the Amendments made?

    • According to the Ordinance, a competent body will have the power either to accept or reject the verdict of Lokayukta after giving an opportunity to hear the parties concerned. 
    • Under Section 14 of the Kerala Lokayukta Act, a public servant is required to vacate office immediately if indicted by Lokayukta. 
    • However, the new amendment takes away Section 14 and now Lokayukta has only recommendatory authority, not mandatory jurisdiction. 

    Why are amendments being opposed?

    • No proper discussions were held on the matter.
    • It violates the fundamental spirit of the central Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013

    Ordinance Making Power

    • About:
      • The ordinance making power is the most important legislative power of the President and the Governor. It has been vested in them to deal with unforeseen or urgent situations.
      • Article 123 of the Constitution grants the President certain law-making powers to promulgate ordinances during the recess of Parliament.
      • These ordinances have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament but are in the nature of temporary laws.
      • Likewise, the Governor of a state can issue ordinances under Article 213 of the Constitution, when the state legislative assembly (or either of the two Houses in states with bicameral legislatures) is not in session.
      • The Constitution permits the central and state governments to make laws when Parliament (or the State Legislature) is not in session.
    • Concerns:
      • The Constitution states that the ordinance will lapse at the end of six weeks from the time Parliament (or the State Legislature) next meets.

    Important Cases

    • RC Cooper vs. Union of India (1970): SC held that the President’s decision could be challenged on the grounds that ‘immediate action’ was not required, and the Ordinance had been passed primarily to bypass debate and discussion in the legislature.
    • AK Roy vs. Union of India (1982): SC pointed out the need to exercise judicial review over the President’s decision only when there were substantial grounds to challenge the decision, and not at “every casual and passing challenge”.
    • DC Wadhwa vs. State of Bihar (1987):  The legislative power of the executive to promulgate Ordinances is to be used in exceptional circumstances and not as a substitute for the law-making power of the legislature. 

    Source: TH, PRS