Friday 31 May 2024

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Issues | Corruption

IAC corners CM on Lokayukta amendments

 

The India Against Corruption delegation cornered chief minister Manohar Parrikar at least on two counts as far as the Goa Lokayukta amendments are concerned.

The CM had to backtrack on his firm stand on going ahead with the amendments passed in the recently concluded Assembly, when two-member delegation of IAC met him at his residence yesterday late evening.

The delegation consisted of IAC co-ordinator Walmiki Naik and Dr Oscar Rebello. The meeting was scheduled at the initiative of Dr Hubert Gomes, a new BJP entrant before Assembly election, who supported IAC on Lokayukta amendments.

Parrikar, according to Naik, had to backtrack on the issue of ‘may resign’ instead of ‘shall resign’ in case the minister or the chief minister is proved to be guilty of corruption charges.

While CM had taken a firm stand in the Assembly that even Karnataka Lokayukta act had a provision that the minister or CM ‘may resign’, the IAC showed him the Karnataka act, which has a clear provision that the minister ‘shall resign.’

“The CM told us that the AG had advised him that inclusion of the word “shall” instead of the word “may” would be ultra-virus of the constitution,” said Naik.

Later on, Dr Gomes told media persons that the CM had agreed to change the provision to ‘shall resign’.

The second cornering was on the issue of false complaint.

While fully supporting Parrikar’s stand and the provision of punitive action for filing false, frivolous or vexatious complaint against any public functionary, the IAC demanded that the proviso mentioned in the Uttarakhand Lokayukta act be included along with it.

The proviso says: “merely because a case could not be proved under this Act after investigation shall not be held against a complainant”.

The CM, according to Naik, said that such a clause was there in the Goa Lokayukta Act also. However, when asked to show where it was, neither the CM nor the AG could point out the same

When IAC requested that the Competent Authority should not be allowed to reject the declaration made by Lokayukta, the CM argued that the power of deemed rejection was in fact strengthening the Lokayukta Act.

But for purpose of giving respect to opinions of NGOs and civil society, the CM said he does not mind deleting entire Section 16A from the Goa Lokayukta (First Amendment) Act 2013.

IAC also pointed out yet another provision that if Uttarakhand Lokayukta’s recommendations were not honoured by the authorities, the Lokayukta is empowered to approach the High Court within 15 days, and such provision is absent in Goa.

The CM replied that in High Court, matters are always delayed, and therefore such provision was not necessary in Goa, said Naik.


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