Goa Lokayukta quotes Mahabharat over govt on corruption

Goa Lokayukta quotes Mahabharata characters to question government's resolve to crack down on corruption

Goa Lokayukta P.K. Mishra in a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik, has used mythological characters from the Mahabharata as a metaphor, to question the BJP-led government's resolve to act on the authority's order given in January this year, indicting former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and two top officials, for alleged irregularities in the renewal of more than 50 mining leases in 2015.

The letter, written weeks after the Goa Governor declined permission to prosecute Parsekar and the two officials for the alleged irregularities, also asks whether posterity would question the amount of public money being spent on establishing anti-corruption bodies like the Lokayukta if the government routinely rejects its reports without paying heed to them.

The Goa Lokayukta's letter to the Governor, copy of which is available with DHNS, also offers examples from the Mahabharata involving Shakuni and King Dhritarashtra, while explaining the conduct of the government vis a vis its reluctance to act against alleged acts of corruption.

"The posterity may rightly question as to why public exchequer should be depleted by establishing Lokayukta or Human Rights Commission if their reports are to be routinely rejected without bestowing the attention their reports deserve," Mishra says in his letter to the Goa Governor.

"Only a Dhritarashtra and or Gandhari would be unable to perceive anything sinister in what happened on January 12, 2015 and it seems
there is no death of Dhritarashtra or Gandhari these days in Mera Bharat Mahan," the letter also states.  

"For that matter, it also seems there is no dearth of Shakuni in rendering 'appropriate' advice. 'Putra Moha' seems to have been substituted by 'party moha' or other kinds of 'moha' in the system of public administration and shouting from the rooftops regarding eradication of corruption, while only paying lip service when the question actual eradication crops up," it further states.

In its order in January this year, the Goa Lokayukta had said, that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should probe corruption in the second renewal lot of mining leases, while also slamming the state government’s Anti-Corruption Bureau for shielding influential persons linked to the irregularities.

In its order, Goa Lokayukta had also questioned the speed with which a BJP-led coalition government led by then Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar cleared as many as 56 mining lease renewals in a week, including granting of 31 clearances during one day, incidentally just before the Central government amended the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, which mandated that mining leases could only be auctioned afresh and not renewed in favour of existing leaseholders.  

Parsekar had subsequently defended the renewals, saying the same had been carried out on the advice of the state advocate general and had rejected any possibility of corruption.

The January order had followed a complaint filed by Goa-based green NGO Goa Foundation, which had alleged that illegal renewal of the mining leases in the State of Goa, had led to losses to the state government of Rs. 1,44,000 crore".

Earlier this month, however, the Goa Governor had written to the Lokayukta declining permission to prosecute Parsekar and others who had been indicted in the anti-corruption ombudsman's report.  

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