Wednesday, March 3, 2021
North East

Meghalaya Lokayukta yet to receive a single case

SHILLONG, April 28: The Meghalaya Lokayukta is yet to get any single case from the public though its chairperson started functioning six months ago.
Retired Gauhati High Court judge Pranoy Kumar Musahary was sworn in as the rst chairperson of Lokayukta in Meghalaya in November last year.
The government had already sent two reminders to the public to le their complaints supported by affidavits before the Lokayukta.
The Lokayukta has the power to probe allegations of corruption against public functionaries.
Besides the government officials, the public functionaries are the chief minister, deputy chief minister, ministers, speaker and deputy speaker of Assembly and MLAs.
Though a chairperson and four members form part of Meghalaya Lokayukta, the panel is currently functioning with the lone chairman.
The government had amended the related Act giving power to the lone chairman to handle cases.
Though the format of ling case supported by the affidavit of a magistrate is hurdle for the citizens, the secretary to the Lokayukta, R Rapthap, posted at the Additional Secretariat, said he can give guidance to anyone who wants to file complaints.
The Lokayukta is yet to get its office though efforts are being made by the government to provide accommodation to the chairperson and the required staff.
The political department recently issued a notice informing the people that every complaint on allegation of corruption against public servant and “for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto’, should be supported with an affidavit and delivered to Rapthap.
A senior government ocial said the pressure groups in the state had in the past agitated for the formation of Lokayukta but none of the members of the pressure has led any complaint to the anti-graft panel.
In 2015, the pressure groups, including Meghalaya Right to Information Movement, Khasi Students’ Union, Thma U Rangli Juki, Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, Garo Students’ Union, Civil Society for Women’s Organisation, Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement, Jaintia Youth Federation, Jaintia Students’ Union, Khasi Women’s Welfare and Development Association and Lympung Ki Seng Kynthei had set deadline to the government for the formation of Lokayukta.
Unlike human rights commissions which can take up suo motu cases, the Lokayukta needs complaints from the public as it cannot take up cases by itself.
While the retired government official, W. Khyllep has been appointed to head the investigation wing of the Lokayukta, the prosecution wing is yet to be constituted with officials. (Courtesy: TST)

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