Friday, June 21, 2024

Pressure on Govt to continue: NGOs


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The anti-graft organizations have vowed to continue to put pressure on the government to formulate a strong Lokayukta Act while challenging the political parties if they dare to question the Government the way the ‘flawed’ Lokayukta Bill, 2012 was passed in the Assembly.

The decision was taken at a public meeting held at Motphran on Wednesday to garner public support in the fight for a strong Lokayukta Act.

The members of the anti-graft NGOs who spoke at the rally condemned the State Government for passing the flawed Lokayukta Bill which would rather protect certain class of public servants who are indulging in corrupt practices from the purview of being investigated.

The NGOs also said the new Bill would also deter people from filing complaint against any ‘corrupt’ bureaucrat or elected representative due to the stringent procedure including the need of filing of an affidavit before a magistrate.

Speaking at the rally, the MRTIM convener Michael N Syiem said the passing of a flawed Lokayukta Bill was an indicative that the State Government was not serious at all to curb the menace of corruption.

“The Government has cheated people by passing a flawed Lokayukta Bill,” Syiem said while enlightening public on the need to have a strong Lokayukta Act.

According to him, the RTI is only a tool to expose various scams and added that a body which would punish the guilty is the Lokayukta.

The MRTIM chairman appealed to the Governor RS Mooshahary to reserve his consent to the “flawed” Bill.

In his speech, the KSU president Daniel Khyriem said the government should not force the NGOs to agitate by passing a flawed Bill.

“We want a strong Act by incorporating our suggestions which we have submitted to the government long back,” Khyriem said.

Earlier on December 14, amidst walk out by the Opposition and protest by anti-graft NGOs inside the Assembly premises, the Government forcefully passed the flawed Meghalaya Lokayukta Bill without any discussion, rejecting the demand of the members either to refer the Bill to the House Select Committee or call a Special Session.

Some members from the Treasury bench also opposed the passing of the Bill in its present form.

On the day the bill was passed, representatives of various NGOs who were also present in the assembly burnt the copies of the Bill as a mark of protest.

The NGOs had also met the governor urging him not to give his assent to the Bill.

However the Governor said that he would study the Bill and would follow provisions of the Constitution in this regard.


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