9:13 am - Tuesday March 19, 2019

Bahuguna govt stalling Lokayukta Act: Khanduri

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Bahuguna govt stalling Lokayukta Act: Khanduri
Bahuguna govt stalling Lokayukta Act: Khanduri

Accusing the Uttarakhand government of shying away from implementation of the Lokayukta Act, former Chief Minister BC Khanduri on Tuesday said the Bahuguna government was out to “stall” the act as it wanted the “corruption industry” in the state to flourish.

Taking exception to Bahuguna citing “constitutional discrepancies” in the Act, Khanduri said it is an excuse to prevent the anti-corruption watchdog from coming into existence in Uttarakhand.

“Terming provisions of the act ‘unconstitutional’ is an insult to the President.It is a ploy to stall the act so that corruption which has assumed the proportions of an industry in the state could grow unbridled,” Khanduri told a news agemcy.

The bill passed unanimously by Uttarakhand Assembly in November 2011?was first scrutinised by the Union Home Ministry and then was approved by the president who chose not to make any changes in it, he noted.

“How can the goverment talk of constitutional discrepancies in the Act despite its going through an elaborate process of scrutiny by legal and constitutional experts at the disposal of the Home Ministry and the President of India,” he asked and said it did not behove of a former judge like Bahuguna to see “unconstitutionalities” in an Act which has been approved by the President.

Khanduri during whose tenure in office the bill was unanimously passed by the state assembly said the state government’s reluctance to implement the Act only confirms the general perception that it is “steeped in corruption” and does not want the anti-corruption instrument to come into being.

Citing “unconstitutionalities” in the Act, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna recently said it was passed by the previous BJP government in a hurry and there was room for amendments in it.

He said the Act would come up up for discussion at the next meeting of the state cabinet on November 7 when it will be decided whether or not to go ahead with its implementation.

However, he said he was not against its implementation.

“We welcome the enactment of Lokayukta Act but we have reservations about some of its provisions which are unconstitutional and can be amended,” Bahuguna said.

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