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Governor to go by the book on assent

- Decision on Lokayukta bill after study

Shillong, Dec. 17: Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary today hinted that he would be guided by the Constitution when he adjudicates on the Meghalaya Lokayukta Bill, 2012.

The bill, which was passed by the state Assembly on Friday, has been criticised as being flawed and incompatible to deal with corruption.

Anti-graft activists have already approached Mooshahary, requesting him to withhold his assent to the “flawed” bill. They have also appealed to him to support them in the fight against corruption.

“I have not got the bill so far. Let me get the bill and I will study it,” Mooshahary said on the sidelines of the North Eastern Police Academy (NEPA) at Umsaw Khwan, Umiam, about 20km from here, after he reviewed a passing out parade of 116 police officers hailing from various states of the region.

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 the Governor will have to put his signature to the bill if it is sent to him by the legislature for a second time, with or without modifications.

While stating that NGOs have met him, Mooshahary said he would not be able to comment whether he would reject the bill unless he has gone through the same.

“How will I say unless I go through the bill? Whatever is in the Constitution, that will be adopted,” he said.

Mooshahary, also a former Assam chief information commissioner, has been one of the constitutional figures who has been very outspoken on issues relating to corruption.

Even today, while delivering a speech at the passing out parade, the Governor termed “corruption” as the biggest stumbling block to the country’s progress. He also exhorted the men and women in uniform to refrain from indulging in acts of corruption.

Mooshahary refrained from making any comment when sought for his views on the functioning of the eighth Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, which will be dissolved before the state goes to the polls early next year.

“The Assembly functions in its own right. Governors do not tell the Assembly what it should do or what it should not do. It is in their wisdom whatever they do. It is up to the elected representatives of the people,” he said.

Mooshahary took over as Meghalaya governor in June 2008 and his five-year term will expire next year.

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