Goa should have Lokayukta in place:Hegde

Goa should have Lokayukta in place:Hegde

"In the wake of issues like illegal mining, CRZ violations and other issue, we require Lokayukta to be in place in Goa," he said interacting with the civil society members at International Centre Goa, Dona Paula near here.

Hegde said that the state should go ahead with the notification of Goa Lokayukta Bill, 2003 rather than working on a fresh draft.

"If you want to start afresh, it will take at least two years," he commented. Goa State Law commission has already prepared another Lokayukta bill which has been submitted to the state government.

Chief Minister Digambar Kamat had said that he would table the bill during the forthcoming assembly session beginning from October 5. Goa Lokayukta Bill was passed in the state legislative assembly in the year 2007 and sent for President’s nod. But it was sent back amid certain anomalies.

The huge illegal mining trade in Goa running into hundreds of crore of rupees is currently being probed by Justice M B Shah Commission. Former Karnataka Lokayukta said that for a small state like Goa, the quantum of ore extracted was huge.

"Minerals are not regenerated. What’s the hurry? We are not leaving it for next generation," Hegde said adding in the Karnataka report, it was revealed that huge amount of ore from Karnataka was exported through ports in Goa illegally.

"The ore was brought by train to Goa pretending that it was for the consumption of local industries," Hegde said adding that in reality, the ore was mixed with the low grade ore from Goa and exported.

Meanwhile, Hegde today objected to draft Goa Lokayukta Bill, 2011 which empowers chief minister and leader of opposition to remove lokayukta.

"The five-member Bench of Bombay High Court should be formed to decide on removal of Lokayukta or upa-Lokayukta of the state," Hegde said.

"In the Jan Lokpal Bill, a five-member bench of Supreme Court is empowered to recommend removal of Lokayukta. Here it can be a five-member bench of the high court," he said.

Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge said that removal of Lokayukta and his deputy should be done by the court alone as it requires conducting of an inquiry. He said that a committee of Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice can be formed to appoint Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta.

During the two hour long deliberation on the draft, prepared by Goa Law Commission, Hegde pointed out various anomalies in it.

Hedge said that Goa Lokayukta should be a local person, preferably a retired high court judge as there are not many retired Supreme Court judges in Goa.

"It’s important to have lokayukta who is local because he can easily interact with locals," he said adding if Lokayukta is a retired high court judge, Upa Lokayukta should be retired district judge.

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