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Friday, August 12, 2022

Government may face contempt of court over none appointment of Lokayukta

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With the three month deadline given by the High Court ending on December 23rd the Goa Government may face contempt of Court proceedings for not having appointed a Lokayukta for the State.

A Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa
comprising of Justice M.S. Sonak and Justice M.S.Jawalkar on 23rd September had directed the Goa Government to take effective steps to fill up the post of Lokayukta as expeditiously as possible and in any case within three months.

The Court directions came after hearing a petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the failure of the Government to duly initiate the process of selecting the new Lokayukta despite knowing very well that Lokayukta Justice P.K. Misra was due to retire on September 17th.

The High Court in its order had observed that taking into consideration the mandate as well as the purpose of enactment of the Lokayukta Act, the vacancy had to be filled expeditiously so that the Institution of Lokayukta functions in the State.

While drawing the attention of the Court that the Goa Lokayukta Act was enacted to provide a Lokayukta to inquire into grievances and allegations against Public functionaries in the State of Goa, Adv. Aires Rodrigues in his petition had stated that despite being fully aware that Lokayukta Justice P.K.Misra was due to demit office on 17th September, the government had done nothing to start the process to look for the next Lokayukta.

Adv. Aires Rodrigues had further stated that it appeared that the State Government was not keen to appoint the next Lokayukta so as to give public officials a free hand to indulge in acts of Corruption and maladministration.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sudarshen Reddy was on 8th March 2013 appointed as Goa’s first Lokayukta who assumed charge on 14th March but within six months suddenly on 18th September 2013 without citing any reasons left Goa in a huff after tendering his resignation which was accepted by the Goa Governor on 17th October 2013.

After two years Retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court Justice P.K.Misra on 24th April 2016 was appointed as Goa’s second Lokayukta and he assumed charge on 28th of April 2016 while his term ended on this 17th September this year.

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