Lokayukta in 3 months, gets Prez nod

PTI, PANAJI | 16 May 2012 18:56 IST

A day after getting President’s assent for the Goa Lokayukta Bill, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that the ombudsman body will start functioning in the state in next three months.

"Goa Lokayukta will be a reality in next three months," Parrikar told reporters here.

"Any new structure requires facilities like manpower, funding, place to set up office and others. We also need to appoint Lokayukta by a proper process," he justified.

The Chief Minister said that the process to set up Lokayukta will begin once the Governor writes to the state government about President's assent to the Bill.

The state government spokesman yesterday claimed that the President had given its assent to Goa Lokayukta Bill, 2011.

Parrikar said the Governor was yet to receive any communication from New Delhi.

"The Governor will write to the state law department, who will have to notify the Bill to make it an Act," Parrikar said.

The Bill was passed in Goa legislative assembly in October, 2011.

The Goa government has decided to consult Chief Justice of Bombay High Court before appointing Lokayukta, who can be a retired judge.

The public body, vested with powers to investigate cases of corruption, has a right even to prosecute chief minister, as per the bill, which was passed by then Digambar Kamat led government after pressure mounted from the civil right groups.

Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption (IAC) had demanded that the Bill which was passed needs to be amended further to make it more effective.

Parrikar said that any amendments in the Lokayukta Bill can be done only after six months, not soon after appointing the body.

"Any amendment can be recommended only after reviewing the functioning of the body. The amendments would be done taking in confidence the sitting Lokayukta," he said.

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