A Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice M.S. Sonak and Justice M.S.Jawalkar today directed the Goa Government to fill the now vacant post of Goa Lokayukta within three months.
The Court was today 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 Lokayutta
Justice P.K. Misra was due to retire on September 17th.
Advocate General of Goa Devidas Pangam today informed the Court that a communication has been sent to the Registrar of the Supreme Court seeking names of candidates who are eligible and willing to be appointed as Lokayukta as it is required by law that the post be filled by a retired Supreme Court Judge or a retired High Court Chief Justice.
The High Court in its order today has observed that taking into consideration the mandate as well as the purpose of enactment of the Lokayukta Act, the vacancy had to be filled as expeditiously as possible so that the Institution of Goa Lokayukta functions in the State. The Court in its order today directed the
State Government to take effective steps to fill up the post of Lokayukta as expeditiously as possible and in any case within three months from today.
While drawing the attention of the Court that the Goa Lokayukta Act was enacted to provide for the establishment of the Institution of Lokayukta to inquire into grievances and allegations against Public functionaries in the State of Goa, Adv. Rodrigues in his petition stated that despite being fully aware that the Lokayukta was due to demit office on 17th September, the government had done nothing to start the process to look for the next Lokayukta.
Adv. Rodrigues further stated that it appears 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 and that the functioning of the Lokayukta and the cases currently pending before it would come to a grinding halt.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sudarshen Reddy was on 8th March 2013 appointed as Goa’s first Lokayukta who assumed charge on 14th March amidst huge public protest at the Dona Paula circle while he was proceeding to the Goa Raj Bhavan to take his oath in office.
Within six months suddenly on 18th September 2013 Sudarshen Reddy 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.