Goa govt proposes to drop clause from disputed Lokayukta Bill
Panaji: The Goa government on Tuesday proposed to drop a controversial clause which seeks to penalise a complainant for false, frivolous and vexatious complaints with the Lokayukta.
The Goa Lokayukta Bill was earlier referred back to the state Legislative Assembly by Goa Governor BV Wanchoo.
The entire clause 8 of the Bill, which talks about penalising a complainant for false, frivolous and vexatious complaints with the Lokayukta, has been deleted in the draft bill, which is circulated among the members of the Legislative Assembly and is yet to be tabled.
The Right to Information (RTI) activists had raised objection to different clauses in the Goa Lokayukta Bill (First Amendment) 2013, which was earlier passed by the state Legislative Assembly.
The government has also proposed to scale down to Rs 10,000 to Rs one lakh the penalty amount from Rs one lakh to Rs 10 lakh that was earlier mentioned in the bill. The amount is to be paid if it is found that the complaint is false and vexatious. There was objection to this provision by people who felt that the government was trying to discourage people from filing complaints before the Lokayukta.
In yet another amendment, the state government has also proposed to change the word "deemed rejected" to "deemed accepted". Earlier, the bill mentioned that if the recommendations of Lokayukta are not implemented within three months, then it would be deemed rejected. The RTI activists had raised an objection to this clause.
However, the Chief Minister, maintained that the controversial clause which says that the minister "may" resign in case he is indicted by Lokayukta has been retained in the draft. However, the RTI activists had demanded the clause to be changed to "shall" resign, which will make it mandatory for the ministers to step down.
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