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HC gives goa govt another two months to appoint Goa’s next lokayukta

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A  Division bench of the

Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice M.S.Sonak and Justice

Bharati Dangre today while hearing the plea by

the Goa Government seeking an extension of a further three months granted only two

months for the State to fill the vacancy of the Goa Lokayukta. The Court

also directed the government to file its compliance report.

 

The High Court on 23rd September

last year 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 had directed the government to take effective steps to

fill up the post of Lokayukta as expeditiously as possible and in any

case within three months which deadline ended on 23rd December.

 

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 as

expeditiously as possible so that the Institution of Goa Lokayukta functions

in the State.

 

The Government in its application

seeking an extension of three months stated that several officials in the

Administration of the State had since September 2020 tested positive for

COVID-19 including the Chief Minister of Goa.

 

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, Adv. Rodrigues in his

petition filed in August last year 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. Rodrigues had further stated

that it appeared that the State Government was not keen to appoint a  new 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.

 

 

 

While strongly opposing the government’s application

today, Adv. Rodrigues submitted to the Court that the shield of COVID-19 was

selectively being chosen by the Goa Government when it suits them.

 

 

 

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sudarshen Reddy was on 8th March

2013 appointed as Goa’s first Lokayukta who assumed charge on 14th March.

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.

 

 

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 17th September last year

with the post now lying vacant for over four months.

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