A Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice M.S.
Sonak and Justice M.S.Jawalkar will on January 13th
hear the plea by the Goa Government seeking an extension of three months to
fill the vacancy of the Lokayukta.
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
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.
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
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 over three months.