Lokayukta amendment empowers CM not to drop corrupt minister

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 28 January 2013 21:25 IST

The issue of amendment to Lokayukta act has taken a dramatic twist now with chief minister proposing that a corrupt minister may not be removed by the chief minister even if the Lokayukta finds the minister guilty of charges.

The resignation of a minister has been made voluntary, and not compulsory.

Also, if the chief minister does not act within three months on Lokayukta's recommendation to remove the minister, the recommendation gets rejected automatically.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar introduced the Lokayukta amendment bill in the Assembly today.

Besides the amendment of penalising the complainant for a false complaint, a major section 16 A has been introduced in the bill regarding "public functionaries vacating the office."

As per this section, if the Lokayukta finds the public functionary guilty of charges, he would make a declaration that the public functionary should not continue in the office.

The competent authority then would either accept or reject Lokayukta's proposal.

As per the original act, the competent authorities are defined.

In case of the chief minister and the MLAs, the competent authority is the Governor.

In case of ministers, secretaries and all other public functionaries, it is the Chief Minister.

In case of university vice chancellor, it is the chancellor.

The new amendment says Lokayukta's declaration should  be accepted or rejected by the Competent Authority within three months.

If the Lokayukta's report is accepted by the competent authority, the corporation chairperson or other bureaucrats etc automatically get removed from the office.

The civil servants will be put under suspension.

But in case of a Chief Minister or a Minister, they 'may resign'.

It means they may also not resign. It has been made voluntary.

And then comes the most important amendment, as sub section 5 of Section 16 A.

It says that if the Lokayukta's declaration is not accepted by the competent authority within three months, it shall be deemed to have been rejected.

What it means is that the Chief Minister may not act upon the Lokayukta proposal for three months and his recommendation would automatically get rejected in three months.

Sub Section 5 of Section 16 A reads as follows:

(5) If the declaration under sub-section (1) is not accepted within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the report, or of a copy of the report, as the case may be, it shall be deemed to have been rejected on the expiry of the said period of three months."

The declaration here refers to the proposal of the Lokayukta that the "public functionary concerned should not continue to hold the office held by him."

In the Statement of Objects and Reasons, Parrikar states that the section 16 A has been inserted "in order to strengthen the institution of Lokayukta by providing teeth in the form of vacation of public office/suspension against the indicted public functionaries."

"However, in the case of Chief Minister or Ministers, only their voluntary resignation will have the effect of vacation of their office. In all cases, the right to opportunity of hearing is mandatory. The concept of deemed rejection has been introduced."

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Previous Comments

It looks like Goa`s C.M. is losing his senses.

The Lokayukta is not fit for purpose.

It is a Lokayukta to protect all the Corrupt MLA of Goa,including the CM.

No doubt the MLA`s, will approve the amedments.

It is for their benefit.

It looks like Goans, are never likely to get Fair Justice and The Lokayukta is a waste of time.And common men will still have to suffer from Corruption ,by those in Public Office.

All MLA`s are now free to commit crimes and pursue turn corruption & their corrupt habits into an art form.

- N.Fernandes, London | 30 th January 2013 00:25

 

The Lok Ayukta becomes an exercise in futility, a toothless tiger...fit for the dustbin.

- Ludovico, Old-Goa | 29 th January 2013 19:30

 

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