Congress opposing Lokayukta Act to `perpetuate corruption`: BJP

Last Updated: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 16:50

Dehradun: The ruling Congress`s opposition to the Lokayukta Act proves that all it wants to do is to "perpetuate corruption" in the state, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and BJP leader BC Khanduri, said on Saturday.

The Lokayukta Bill for Uttarakhand had been unanimously passed by the state Assembly while BJP had been in power with Khanduri at the helm.

"By opposing the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, which recently received Presidential assent, the current dispensation stands exposed. It is proof that the state government has no intention of combating corruption, only to perpetuate it.

Had it not been so, it would not oppose an act which can be an effective tool in fighting corruption," Khanduri told reporters here.

Although Khanduri noted that the state government would be within its rights to amend the law, he said it did not seem as if it was serious about it.

"Had it been serious about amending the Act, it would have convened a special session of the Assembly to set the process in motion instead of just opposing it and terming its provisions unconstitutional," he said, adding that a "corrupt" government would never favour the creation of an anti- corruption ombudsman.

Slamming Bahuguna for citing "unconstitutionalities" in the Act, Khanduri said it was "anti-national" to find legal lacunae in a piece of legislation after it had been approved by the President.

"The Bill was sent to the President in 2011 and it received his assent in September of this year. It must have been properly studied before being given approval.

"Terming provisions of the Act `unconstitutional` is an insult to the President.
"It is a ploy to stall the Act so that corruption, which has assumed the proportions of an industry in the state, may grow unchecked," he added.

The Bill, passed unanimously by the state Assembly in November, 2011, was first scrutinised by the Union Home Ministry and then approved by the President, who chose not to make any changes in it, Khanduri pointed out.

"How can the government talk of discrepancies in the Act despite its having gone through elaborate scrutiny by legal and constitutional experts at the disposal of the Home Ministry and the President of India," he asked.

Citing "unconstitutionalities" in the Act, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had recently said it had been passed by the previous BJP government in a hurry and there was room for amendments in it.

Bahuguna, who has stressed that he was not against the Act, has said it would come up for discussion at the next meeting of the state cabinet on November 7, when it will be decided whether or not to go ahead with its implementation.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 16:50

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