On 7 November 2023, the High Court in Dehradun changed its previous decision pertaining to the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking appointment of Lokayukta and ordered the salaries for Lokayukta office employees to be paid. There are currently 26 employees working in the Lokayukta office.
The employees haven’t received their salaries for the past four months. The Court allowed covering of office expenses until the next financial year due to the ongoing Lokayukta appointment process.
The court hearing witnessed the government asking for approval to pay the employees in the Lokayukta office because the festive season was approaching and these workers had not received any pay for four months.
The government requested the Court to lift the ban on bill payments since the Lokayukta office is going to be relocated.
In August, when the previous hearing had taken place, the Court had given the government a final three-month deadline to appoint the Lokayukta. The court also asked for the employees’ salaries to be paid by their parent department and not from the Lokayukta office account.
Ravi Shankar Joshi, the petitioner had pointed out that despite the government spending Rs 2 crore annually on the Lokayukta office, no Lokayukta had been appointed yet. He has been urging the Court to issue an order for the government to appoint the Lokayukta, so that it can handle cases of corruption involving government officials.