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HC to hear on Jan 13th Govt plea seeking more time to appoint Goa’s 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

will on January 13th hear the plea by the Goa Government

seeking an extension of a further three months to fill the vacancy of the Lokayukta.





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 now seeking

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

Administration of the State have 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 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.

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 almost four months.

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