Formation of State Lokayukta, Human Rights panel in limbo

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya government seems to have forgotten its promise of setting up the Lokayukta and the State Human Rights Commission at the earliest.
While the State government had failed, on more than one occasion, to find a suitable sitting Judge or a retired Judge of the High Court to head the State Human Rights Commission leading to delay in its formation, the State Lokayukta is also yet to be formed in the absence of regular meetings to zero in on the candidates to be appointed as the Chairperson and members.
An official source said on Sunday that the search committee appointed by the Government needs to meet again to carry on with the process of selecting the names.
The search committee consisting of five persons was appointed by a selection committee.
The task of the search committee was to prepare a panel of names to be forwarded to the selection committee for appointment of a chairperson and other members of the Lokayukta.
It was in March last year that the Government had, after several amendments, passed the Meghalaya Lokayukta Bill, 2014.
It was during the same session that the Government had tabled the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (Salaries and Allowances and other Terms and Conditions  of Service of the Members) Rules, 2014.
However, even after a year, there is not much progress on the formation of the Lokayukta and Human Rights Commission.
Meanwhile, an official with the Political department said the department had made three attempts to get a retired Judge of any High Court to head the Human Rights Commission, but in vain.
In the absence of the Chairperson, the two members who were appointed by the Government – M.B. Challam and former Meghalaya DGP P.J.P. Hanaman – have yet to be tasked with any assignment.

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