Assembly passes Lokayukta, but IAC wants Jan Lokayukta

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 07 October 2011 19:54 IST

Adv Satish Sonak

Goa has finally passed the Lokayukta bill unanimously, but the exercise would probably be proved fruitless as it has hardly any powers to act.

While welcoming the step, India Against Corruption has announced that it would draft a new Jan Lokayukta bill and fight for it.

The Lokayukta bill 2003 was tabled once again in the Assembly yesterday, recommending few deletions, after passing it on 27 April 2007.

The deletions were suggested when the bill went to the President of India for assent, through Goa governor.

After this, the government had actually moved a notice on 29 March this year to withdraw the whole bill, in order to present a new bill.

However, the matter did not come up as the House was adjourned with the BJP boycotting the proceedings on the issue of drugs mafia.

The Goa State Law Commission had even proposed a new draft with more dynamic additions to it. The government wanted to present this bill.

But, due to public pressure after Anna Hazare’s nationwide movement, the government decided to go ahead with the same old bill, after deleting objectionable clauses.

The only difference this time was that few members of the ruling and opposition benches spoke on arresting corruption, unlike last time when it was passed without any discussion.

Though the new bill is now amended to include Right to Information Act, the members of the House did not even bother to note that the bill still prohibits the Lokayukta to seek information of cabinet meetings or any committee formed by the cabinet.

Under RTI, any common citizen is entitled for information of cabinet meeting. But, unfortunately, the Lokayukta does not have it.

The Lokayukta bill deals with allegations, corrupt practices and grievances made against any public functionary from a peon to the chief minister.

The Lokayukta is also authorized to take up matters sue moto, without even a formal complaint.

The bill also makes it compulsory for all the public functionaries to declare their assets annually.

However, Adv Satish Sonak admits that the new draft prepared by the Law Commission had some more stronger provisions.

It includes Lokayukta having an investigation wing, prosecution wing, inquiry and investigation procedure defined in detail, right to attach property of public functionaries, special courts to deal with matters of corruption as well as citizens’ charter in each public office that specifies deadlines to deal with public matters.

Adv Sonak however feels that the bill needs to be much stronger by even including provisions of Jan Lokpal bill proposed by Team Anna.

The IAC thus now plans to invite former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde and Arvind Kejariwal to help in drafting the Jan Lokayukta bill.

The IAC, Goa plans to begin a state wide movement demanding a special Assembly session to pass the Jan Lokayukta.

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Previous Comments

Even if the Draft prepared by the Law Commission was good and strong, the discussions, the panel and standing committee, procedures, would be aeons and likelihood of not seeing the light of day. We will wait and see, when it comes towards implementation and the corrupt, better leave the shores of India, before they are roped in by the long arm of the law. Assets disproportionate to the known sources of income would be easy to realize. Long live Anna and his Team and supporters...

- Paganini, Old-Goa | 01 st November 2011 18:30

 

Good first step and long overdue. Let there be amendments to give necessary teeth to the Lokayukta...There is nothing wrong in consulting or taking help or co-opting Adv. Satish Sonak, who is is a good legal brain and has worked with Anna, to give strength to the anti-corruption movement....We demand a totally corruption free Goa ......We want public servants to serve the common man rather than seize every opportunity to go in for collecting wealth by dubious means....

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 08 th October 2011 17:24

 

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