Justice Hegde urges Goa govt to pass 2003 Lok Ayukta

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 25 September 2011 18:40 IST

Justice Santosh Hegde, former Karnataka Lok Ayukta, has suggested that Goa Assembly should pass the same Lok Ayukta bill that was earlier passed in 2003, instead of the new draft proposed by the Law Commission.

Justice Hegde was down in Goa to deliberate upon pros and cons of both the legislations, at the initiative of International Centre Goa, as a part of its Good Governance series of lectures.

Though the Assembly had ultimately passed the bill in 2007, the President of India had declined to give assent due to some legal issues.

Meanwhile, after a nationwide row over Lokpal bill at the centre and Lok Ayukta bills at state level, chief minister Digambar Kamat told the law commission to draft a new bill.

The chief minister intends to introduce the new bill in the forthcoming two-day Assembly session on 5 and 7 October.

The government had already tabled the old bill on 29 March this year to withdraw it.

However, it did not happen as the opposition stalled the proceedings over the drug mafia-police nexus issue.

Adv Satish Sonak, leader of the Indian Against Corruption, opined during the debate that the introduction was just an eye wash since the bill would never be discussed or passed during the session.

This is the last Assembly session, after which the state would go for fresh Assembly poll any time between February to April.

“The new bill would also then lapse and the game of introducing new bill every time would continue”, observed Adv Sonak.

Agreeing with his point of view, Justice Hegde felt that the state government should, in the two-day session, pass the old bill of 2003, after removing the clauses objected by the President of India.

State law commission chairman Adv Ramakant Khalap however felt that the three-member commission could be set up in the meanwhile as the Prevention of Corruption Act is still in force in the state.

The state government had discontinued with the commission since the government was bringing the Lok Ayukta act.

According to Justice Hegde, the bill of 2003 is quite a good legislation to begin the work with.

“The flaws could be removed as and when pointed out by amending the legislation at later stage. You begin the work of nailing down corrupt persons if you are really interested in it”, he opined.

The meeting, attended by hundreds of social activists and students, also decided to start a movement, demanding that the Assembly session be extended to debate upon the Lok Ayukta bill and pass it immediately. 

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The manner in which the people in power are dealing with the Lokayukta issue, make it crystal clear that they dont want any independent agency to probe corruption at high places and nail the corrupt. The issue pending for such a long time --itself proves this....

Better to go by Justice Hegde's advise rather than depending upon the Law Commission's draft which has once again kept many loop holes in their Bill, for escape as reported in the media...

Why is Anna's Bill not taken as a guide line to draft uniform Bills for all the States...? Why is the Tax payer's money spent on drafting different Bills for different States...?

The Issue of corruption is universal and does not change from State to State...The motive needs to be quick nailing of the corrupt by an independent agency...

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 26 th September 2011 10:20


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