Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has agreed to put on hold the controversial amendments to the Goa Lokayukta Act and pass a comprehensive Bill, similar to Uttarakhand’s, in the coming session of the Assembly, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan said on Sunday.
Mr. Bhushan, a senior Supreme Court lawyer, was in the city to address a public meeting on behalf of his party, which has petitioned the Governor not to give assent to the amendments the BJP government had passed, despite the opposition in the winter session, prompting a huge public outcry.
Before the public meeting, Mr. Bhushan met Mr. Parrikar at his residence and the Chief Minister agreed to pass amendments akin to those adopted by Uttarakhand and asked him to give a draft. Mr. Bhushan told journalists that he would submit it to the State government in 20 days.
Describing the Uttarakhand Bill as a “mirror image” of the Janalokpal draft suggested by the AAP and India Against Corruption, Mr. Bhushan said that only the Uttarakhand Bill, stalled by the Union government when it went for presidential assent, could yield an independent, effective, credible anti-corruption agency, free of government control.
Mr. Bhushan said the Goa Lokayukta Act, 2011 had some structural defects such as provisions for Lokayukta appointment without any transparent and participative process and lack of an investigation and prosecution mechanism.
Ahead of the Assembly elections in March last, the BJP had promised India Against Corruption to amend the Lokayukta Bill, on the lines of the Uttarakhand Bill, and appoint a Lokayukta in 100 days. Instead, “what we find is an amendment passed in great haste, which in fact is retrograde,” he said.