A Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice M.S. Sonak and Justice M.S.Jawalkar will on Tuesday September 2nd continue hearing the petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodigues over the failure of the Goa Government to initiate the process of selecting the new Goa Lokayukta despite the current incumbent Justice P.K. Misra due to retire on September 17th. At the last hearing the Court had asked the Goa Government about the time frame it would take to appoint the new Lokayukta.
While pointing out, that the Goa Lokayukta Act was enacted in 2011 to provide for the establishment of the Institution of Lokayukta and to inquire into grievances and allegations against Public functionaries in the State of Goa, Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has stated that despite being fully aware that the current Lokayukta demits office on this 17th September, the government has done nothing to start the process to look for the next Lokayukta.
Adv. Rodrigues has further stated that it appears that the State Government is 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.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has sought that the High Court consider issuing directions to the Goa Government for the purpose of selection of the new Lokayukta to take over the vital position after the term of the current incumbent ends on September 17th 2020.
Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the Chief Secretary needs to explain as to who would keep a check on the rampant Corruption and nepotism while we await the next Lokayukta to come.
Incidentally the Goa Lokayukta Act. 2011 initially required that the qualification for the post should be a retired High Court Judge but by an amendment brought by then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar law for some reason it was amended to require a retired Judge of the Supreme Court Judge or a retired Chief Justice of the High Court.
Goa’s first Lokaykuta Justice Sudarshen Reddy assumed office on 8th March 2013 amidst a huge public outcry at the Dona Paula circle while he was proceeding to the Goa Raj Bhavan to take his oath in office.
Suddenly on 18th September 2013 in the same year Sudarshen Reddy without citing any reasons left Goa in a huff. His formal resignation was accepted by the Goa Governor on 17th October 2013
Three years later the current incumbent Justice P.K.Misra 22/4/2016 was appointed as Goa Lokayukta on 22/4/2016 and his term ends on this 17th September.