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Plea for stronger Lokayukta

Shillong, Dec. 16: Anti-graft activists have taken the battle for a strong Lokayutka law to Raj Bhavan after the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly passed a “flawed” Meghalaya Lokayukta Bill, 2012 on Friday.

“We trust that you will use your constitutional powers and your office to send a message that there shall not be an abuse of legislative privileges, and that law making has to be done in the interest of the people,” activists from nearly 19 pressure groups and social organisations said in a letter to governor R.S. Mooshahary.

The activists, while appealing to Mooshahary to support them in the fight against corruption, requested him to withhold his assent to the bill.

The bill, in order to become an act, has to receive the assent of the governor. If the governor is dissatisfied with the bill, he may return the same to the Assembly for reconsideration. But he will have to sign the bill if it is sent to him again by the legislature with or without modifications.

On Friday, which was also the last day of the winter session of the Assembly, the Mukul Sangma government managed to pass the bill amid a walkout by Opposition members.

Some legislators had demanded from Speaker Charles Pyngrope to convene a special session of the Assembly for thorough deliberations on the “flawed” bill. However, Pyngrope, while subscribing to the view that amendments to any law can always be brought at a later stage, allowed the chief minister to move for the passage of the bill.

On Friday, anti-graft activists had burnt copies of the bill, terming it “ineffective” to deal with corruption.

The activists have announced a public rally on Wednesday afternoon at Motphran here to highlight the flaws in the bill.