Goa’s newly appointed Lokayukta today said it is premature for him to talk about magnitude of corruption in the state,but asserted all efforts would be made to curb the menace.
“It’s too early for me to speak about the nature,extent and magnitude of corruption in Goa. It would be premature on my part to speculate (on graft issue),” Justice (retd) B S Reddy told PTI.
“But one thing I assure is that all possible steps within the structure of the (Lokayukta) Act shall be taken to curb menace of corruption at whatever level it may be.”
The former Supreme Court Judge was on March 16 sworn-in as the first-ever Lokayukta of Goa amidst opposition from political parties like Congress which had objected to his selection for the post. Reddy started functioning as head of the anti-corruption body yesterday.
About possible amendments to Goa Lokayukta Bill,2013,which courted controversy for certain clauses,he said it is too early to make any suggestions.
“It is too early to make suggestions. Only at a later stage,I would be in a position to suggest amendments that may be required to add more teeth to institution of Lokayukta.” “I believe the Legislative Assembly is taking a fresh look and in such circumstances it would not be possible for me to make any comment (on changes in the Bill),” Reddy said.
RTI activists are opposing the new provision to slap hefty penalty for filing frivolous complaints and another clause which says if Lokayukta’s recommendations are not accepted by the Government,they would be deemed rejected.
“Personally I believe the institution of Lokayukta should be people-friendly. At the same time all possible steps may be taken toavoid frivolous,vexatious and speculative complaints filed with personal motives,” the ex-Judge said.
On the deemed rejection clause,Reddy said he does not believe Lokayukta’s report would be handled casually. Asked whether he would look at the benchmark set by
former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde in dealing with graft cases,Reddy said he will adopt a fresh perspective in Goa. “Justice Hegde happens to be a senior colleague who did pioneering work as Karnataka Lokayukta.” Reddy said efforts would be made to ensure that cases are disposed expeditiously.