Friday, May 7, 2021

Bihar assembly clears 5 bills, fake complaints to Lokayukta to invite penal action

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The Bihar Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed five bills, including the Bihar Lokayukta (amendment) Bill, 2021, with voice vote without any amendment as proposed by Opposition members.

Energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, who was also in charge of the department, moved the Bihar Lokayukta (amendment) Bill, 2021, which proposes to restrict proclivity to file fabricated complaints against public servants. As per the bill, false complaints will lead to punitive action, including imprisonment up to three years and fine, against the compliant.

Though many opposition leaders, including Congress legislature party leader Ajeet Sharma and RJD’s Lalit Yadav, said such harsh punishment could discourage whistle-blowers and embolden the corrupt, the amendments were rejected.

“It has come to light that fictitious complaints are also being lodged before the Lokayukta, which leads to wastage of time of the institution. As there is no provision in the present Act under which action could be taken against those lodging false complaints, the amendment bill has been necessitated in keeping with such provision in the Lokayukta Act of other states,” says the bill.

Another bill is the Bihar taxation disputes resolution bill, 2021, moved by Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad, who also holds the finance portfolio. It proposes to identify ways for growth in state’s resources affected due to the pandemic. It repeals the Bihar taxation disputes resolution ordinance (second), 2020.

“In view of Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected economic activities across the country, it was necessary to bring a new taxation dispute settlement (amendment) bill with some modifications, though a law in this regard was in place since 2015,” he said.

The third bill is the Bihar Municipal (amendment) Bill, 2021, which provides greater autonomy to the civic bodies to ensure smooth, transparent and uniform recruitment process on created posts. It also proposes effective curb on encroachment on public roads

The fourth bill is the Bihar civil courts bill, 2021. It has been brought to have a separate civil courts bill for Bihar. Earlier, Bihar was also included in the Bengal, Agra and Assam civil courts Act, 1887 enacted during the British rule. “It is a historic day for the Bihar civil courts,” said Bijendra Prasad Yadav.

The House also passed the Bihar appropriation excess expenditure (1984-85) bill, 2021 to regulate the excess expenditure of 39910 through the consolidated fund on the recommendation of the public accounts committee

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