‘Goa Lokayukta weak to act against errant MLAs’

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How weak the Goa Lokayukta act is to act against legislators who fail to file their statements of assets, has once again become clear now as the Lokayukta is unable to take the errant legislators to task, a citizens’ group has said.

The fears and apprehensions expressed by activists and NGOs in the past over the ineffectiveness of the Act to keep a check on public functionaries particularly MLAs, are now confirmed, convenor of Goa People’s forum Advocate Satish Sonak said in Panaji.

While condemning the nine MLAs who failed to file their statement of assets before the Lokayukta within the stipulated date – July 31, Sonak said that the provisions in the Act do not induce any fear in public functionaries to file their statements of assets and liabilities. Stating the Goa Lokayukta act is “too soft” on public functionaries, GPF said that there is no provision to take penal action against errant MLAs.

If no such statement (of assets and liabilities) is received by it, the Lokayukta is empowered to make a report to competent authority and if the public functionary does not furnish property statements within two months, all that the Lokayukta can do is to publish the names of such public functionaries in two newspapers and make a report to the governor, Sonak explained.

The governor may only place the matter before the legislative assembly of Goa. The Lokayukta and the governor are helpless in matter of taking any penal action against such MLAs, he added. Sonak who had long been demanding Goa Lokayukta on Uttarakhand model, said that if MLAs and other public functionaries had not to file their statements within the stipulated date, they would not have received their salaries as per Uttarakhand Lokayukta act, GPF said.

Significantly, if some property is not shown in the statement, that property would be liable to be confiscated in Uttarakhand, it said. Sonak said that BJP had promised in its election manifesto to adopt Uttarakhand Lokayukta model but failed to do it posing no deterrent to the public functionaries from following corrupt practices.

Courtesy : TOI


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