Current Affairs

Goa Lokayukta (amendment) Bill 2013 circulated to MLAs

The draft of the Goa Lokayukta (amendment) Bill, 2013, seeking to reduce the penalty for frivolous complaints, was circulated among the MLAs on Monday.

The controversial amendment bill to increase the quantum of the penalty was passed by the assembly amidst protests by the opposition in January, 2013.

The bill had envisaged 10,000 as the amount of penalty for vexatious complaints, but the amendment to Section 19 (1) in January had proposed to increase it between 1 lakh to 10 lakh.

Governor BV Wanchoo had also returned the bill for reconsideration of the assembly, mainly raising queries about two provisions of the bill.

The opposition, which had appealed to the Governor not to give his consent to the amendment, had alleged that the stiff penalty would make the Lokayukta “toothless”.

The new amendment proposes to decrease the penalty and fix it between 10,000 and 1 lakh.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had faced severe criticism from civil society for hiking the penalty with some even alleging that it was done purely to restrain people from filing complaints before the Lokayukta.

Another change in the present draft Bill that has been proposed pertains to 16 (A) 3. It says, “If the declaration under Section (1) is not rejected within such period of three months, it shall be deemed to have been accepted by the competent authority, on the expiry of three months.”

Section 16A primarily deals with vacating of office by a public functionary if indicted by the Lokayukta. If the Lokayukta indicts a public functionary and holds that the functionary should not continue to hold his office, the Lokayukta should declare this in his report to the competent authority.

The amendment sought by the government in January, said if the declaration is not accepted within three months, it shall be deemed to have been rejected on the expiry of three months.

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