Parrikar justifies Lokayukta bill amendments

Panaji, Jan 30 (IANS) Amid protests over the move, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Wednesday said his amendments to the Lokayukta bill in Goa were to keep "hostile" governors like H.R. Bharadwaj at bay, who act at the "behest" of the central government.

He also told reporters that Anna Hazare had misled the country into thinking that the office of the public ombudsman was like a judge itself.

The amended Lokayukta Bill, tabled by Parrikar last week in the assembly, does not make it mandatory for a minister to resign even if indicted by the ombudsman. It also allows a Lokayukta verdict to lapse, if the chief minister's office does not sanction prosecution within three months.

Justifying his amendments, Parrikar said: "That has been put what if we get a governor like Bharadwaj in Karnataka or the governor of Gujarat, they will use ever deemed acceptance to act against the chief minister."

"Every explanation is perfect in law," Parrikar further said. The clause, he categorically said was "to counter governors acting at the behest of the centre".

Earlier, political activists, including from the Bharatiya Janata Partry criticised the amended public ombudsman bill tabled in the state assembly, saying the move "will make the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats very happy".

Parrikar also accused Anna Hazare of misleading the nation.

"One of the things the Anna Hazare movement did was make the people believe that the Lokayukta is a judge itself," Parrikar said, adding it was more of an investigative agency.

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