Goa governor wants rethink on anti-graft bill clauses

Panaji, April 18 (IANS) In a setback to the Goa government, Governor B.V. Wanchoo Thursday returned the Goa Lokayukta Bill asking it to reconsider two controversial amended clauses which activist Arvind Kejriwal had criticised.

Wanchoo, while returning the Goa Lokayukta (First Amendment) Bill, asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government to reconsider the clauses which imposed a Rs.10 lakh penalty for frivolous complainants and the deemed rejection clause, which enabled ministers to continue in power, even after being indicted for corruption by the ombudsman.

Raj Bhavan sources said the file had been sent to the Goa government to reconsider Section 19(1), which recommends the heavy fine, and section 16(a)(v), which accounts for the deemed rejection clause.

Both clauses were included in the bill through amendments made during the winter session of the assembly in February.

Reacting to the decision, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the clauses would be amended during the ongoing budget session, which stretches till May 2.

Civil society activists in Goa as well as Kejriwal had called the controversial amendments made by the government in February as “stupid” and “in favour of the corrupt”.

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