IAC urges Goa governor to withhold assent to Lokayukta Act



Panaji: India Against Corruption (IAC) has urged Goa Governor B V Wanchoo to withhold his assent to recently amended Goa Lokayukta Act, saying some clauses in the legislation might render the anti-corruption ombudsman a "toothless" entity.

"Section 16 (A) in the amended Act, which says that minister may resign if found guilty by Lokayukta should be replaced with the word 'shall'. The existing amendment makes the entire body a toothless one", IAC activists resolved in their meeting held here today.

Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government during recent Assembly session passed the Goa Lokayukta (First Amendment) Bill, 2013, which has also prescribed a substantial penalty for false complaints.

IAC also demanded that another clause in the Goa Lokayukta Bill, pertaining to the arrest of minister, if found guilty, be made a non-bailable one.

The chief minister while defending the amendments had said that the changes were made based on the recommendations by Justice (Retd) B Sudarshan Reddy.

"Governor would be requested not to give assent to the amended bill. We also want that the governor should seek clarification from Justice (retd) B Sudarshan Reddy", said IAC convenor for Goa Valmiki Naik.

He demanded that Parrikar should convene a special session of Legislative Assembly to discuss the issue.

"Government has claimed that the amendments were on lines with Uttarakhand Lokayukta, but it is absolutely wrong", he alleged.

Another activist Oscar Rebello claimed that the state government's action tantamount to betrayal, which has hurt the people who elected it to power.

"The Chief Minister should step back and think about the overwhelming support he had received from people during last elections", Rebello said, warning that if government forces such amendments it would invite the wrath of common people.

PTI