Lokayukta tops Kropha’s priority list

New State Chief Secretary assumes  charge

SHILLONG:  Kuljit Singh Kropha, a 1982 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer on Monday  took over as new chief secretary of Meghalaya.
He succeeded P B O Warjri, a 1978-batch IAS officer following his retirement.
Soon after assuming charge, Kropha said that his priority will to help in the formation of  Lokayukta so that there is no parallel  body like State Vigilance Commission to try corruption cases in the state.
There were reports in the past that the State Vigilance Commission remained defunct in the absence of an effective anti corruption body.
The new Chief Secretary, who is also the chief vigilance commissioner, said that currently, the structure of Vigilance Commission is that if a case of corruption comes to light, this is taken up by the CID which is part of Anti-Corruption Branch of the police.
However, under Lokayukta, there will be special investigation and prosecution wings which will ensure speedy  trial of corruption cases.
Asked about the stay order of the High Court of Meghalaya  preventing any eminent person to hold the post of Chairperson of  Lokayukta, the Chief Secretary said that the state government is exploring the ways and means to address the matter.
The state government had filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court to vacate the stay of the High Court.
However, the pending case came up for hearing in the High Court on Monday.
During the hearing the Division  bench of the High Court said that the particulars and stage of the matter said to have been filed before  the Apex Court have not been stated on behalf of the respondents . Hence the matter has been listed for March 2.
Earlier, when asked about his initiative to ensure transparency in governance, the Chief Secretary said that the state government was committed to ensure transparency and accountability and pointed out RTI is an effective instrument in this regard as the government files are open to  public under the Act.
Kropha also said that his task is to get the programmes, and policies of the state government implemented in an effective manner.
“The task of Chief Secretary is to build up a team with this single objective”, he added
To a query, he also ruled out any political influence or interference while taking decisions.
“In Meghalaya one gets complete freedom as per norms, rule and provisions of law. There is full freedom to place one’s own opinion even when you differ with political executives”, he added.
Asked about the need to improve work culture, the Chief Secretary said that the officials should set an example for others to emulate so that this will ensure better work culture in the state.
He also said that the mechanised system of entry and exit has helped in ensuring better work culture.

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