Goa: IAC protests amended Lokayukta Bill

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 12:34 hrs

Panaji, Feb 2 (IBNS) The Goa unit of India Against Corruption (IAC) Saturday appealed Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo not to give assent to the Goa Lokayukta (First Amendment) Act 2013, which was passed in the recently concluded winter session of the state legislative assembly.

The IAC activists have alleged betrayal by the government and threatened to launch an agitation against the 'corruption friendly and non-friendly amendments'.

"The amendments are making the ombudsman body a toothless one. Section 16 (A) in the amended act which says that the minister may resign if found guilty by Lokayukta should be replaced with the word "shall," IAC Coordinator Valmiki Naik told a press briefing.

The activists, he said, regret that the amending Act not only ignores the provisions of the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, but also has potential of contradicting it.

"Prior to appointing Lokayukta, clarification from Retd Justice B Sudarshan Reddy should be sought whether he had requested the Chief Minister of Goa to introduce Section 16A in the principal Act," the activists demanded from the Governor.

The state government has recommended Justice Reddy's name as the Goa Lokayukta to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. The IAC members said that Governor should also seek clarification from Justice Reddy about whether he made any other suggestions for amendment of the Lokayukta legislation.

The activists have also demanded the clause in Goa Lokayukta Bill that will warrant arrest of the minister if he is found guilty and his offence should be made non-bailable.

(Reporting by John Edwards)

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