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Lokayukta pledge for Meghalaya

Shillong, Nov. 27: Meghalaya will soon have a stronger Lokayukta law if chief minister Mukul Sangma’s promise is turned into action.

Sangma assured a delegation of the Meghalaya Right to Information Movement (MRTIM), a conglomerate of pressure groups and RTI activists, this evening that he would introduce their version of the Lokayukta Act in the winter session of the Assembly slated to be held on December 11, 13 and 14.

“The chief minister has assured us that the draft bill of the MRTIM on the Lokayukta will be introduced in the winter session to do away with the ineffective Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2002,” MRTIM leader Michael N. Syiem told reporters after meeting Sangma.

Syiem said Sangma had told the delegation that an all-party meeting would be convened soon to seek consensus on the draft bill.

“He (Sangma) also agreed that the present act is powerless and outmoded,” Syiem stated.

The main areas that the MRTIM has touched upon in its draft bill include setting up of Lokayukta as an independent body where the selection process of Lokayukta has to be transparent and participatory, pro-active powers to the Lokayukta to investigate and chargesheet corruption in all aspects of governance and public life — from the chief minister to an office assistant.

Other important demands include a fast track court to be associated with the Anti Corruption and Grievance Redressal Commission which shall have to give time-bound judgments. The Lokayukta has to be accessible and people-friendly.

Sangma will meet MRTIM leaders again on December 4 to have further deliberations on the draft bill.