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Supreme Court Limits Lokayukta’s Authority in Revenue Record Matters

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Published on: December 04, 2023 at 16:18 IST

The Supreme Court clarified that Lokayukta, an anti-corruption ombudsman, cannot issue directives for the correction of revenue records.

The court was hearing an appeal challenging the High Court of Kerala’s decision, which dismissed a writ petition against the Upa Lokayukta’s order to correct revenue records in a land dispute.

The two-judge bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Rajesh Bindal held that the Upa Lokayukta exceeded its jurisdiction by directing the correction of revenue records.

The appellants argued that Lokayukta’s role is confined to addressing issues of maladministration and does not extend to matters within the purview of other statutory authorities, such as revenue records and taxation.

Advocate Harshad V. Hameed represented the appellants, emphasizing that Lokayukta’s authority is limited to recommending remedies for injustice or hardship caused by a party’s action or inaction.

The court referred to Section 12 of the Lokayukta Act, highlighting that Lokayukta can only recommend remedies and is not a supervisory authority over other competent forums.

The court underscored that Lokayukta’s jurisdiction is recommendatory and cannot issue directives in matters beyond its purview. In this case, the Upa Lokayukta’s directive for the correction of revenue records was deemed to exceed its jurisdiction, contrary to precedents.

The court set aside the orders of the High Court and Upa Lokayukta, advising the respondent to pursue appropriate remedies under the relevant statute for correcting revenue records.