Member of Jan Lokpal drafting committee Santosh Hegde on Sunday said Goa should have its Lokayukta in place in the wake of raging controversies like illegal mining and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations in the state.
“In the wake of issues like illegal mining, CRZ violations and other issues, we require Lokayukta to be in place in Goa,” he told civil society members at International Centre Goa at Dona Paula near Panaji.
Justice Hegde said the State should go ahead with the notification of Goa Lokayukta Bill, 2003 rather than working on a fresh draft.
The huge illegal mining trade in Goa running into hundreds of crore of rupees is currently being probed by Justice M B Shah Commission.
Meanwhile, Justice Hegde today objected to draft Goa Lokayukta Bill, 2011 which empowers chief minister and leader of opposition to remove lokayukta.
“The five-member Bench of Bombay High Court should be formed to decide on removal of Lokayukta or upa-Lokayukta of the State,” Hegde said.
“In the Jan Lokpal Bill, a five-member bench of Supreme Court is empowered to recommend removal of Lokayukta. Here it can be a five—member bench of the high court,” he said.
Justice Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge said that removal of Lokayukta and his deputy should be done by the court alone as it requires conducting of an inquiry.
He said that a committee of Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice can be formed to appoint Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta.
During the two hour long deliberation on the draft, prepared by Goa Law Commission, Justice Hegde pointed out various anomalies in it.
Justice Hedge said that Goa Lokayukta should be a local person, preferably a retired high court judge as there are not many retired Supreme Court judges in Goa.
“It’s important to have lokayukta who is local because he can easily interact with locals,” he said adding if Lokayukta is a retired high court judge, Upa Lokayukta should be retired district judge.