Anti-graft activists in Meghalaya Monday demanded amendment to the Meghalaya Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta Act, 2002 on the lines of the ombudsman in Uttarakhand.
‘We want the Meghalaya government to either amend or repeal the existing Meghalaya Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta Act, 2002 since, in the present form, it is toothless and anti-people,’ Meghalaya Right to Information Movement (MRTIM) chief Michael Syiem told.
Stating that the MRTIM had been demanding an effective anti-corruption mechanism in Meghalaya for the last five years, Syiem said the government was attempting to appoint a Lokayukta in Meghalaya on the basis of a ‘toothless and anti-people’ law.
‘This law, which the government had kept in cold storage for more than 10 years, has been suddenly rediscovered as the government knows that the Lokayukta under it would be a powerless body,’ Syiem said.
Under the present law, the Lokayukta would be a body with merely investigating and recommendatory powers, he said.
It would have no power to initiate suo moto investigation and prosecute or punish corrupt public servants. The ombudsman would also lack financial, judicial and administrative independence, Syiem said.
‘The chief minister would be exempted from the purview of Lokayukta and no grievances against ministers, MLAs and high-level bureaucracy could be entertained by this body,’ he added.
‘This act makes it difficult for citizens to file complaints… the law also puts the life and liberty of the complainant in danger by disclosing his name to the accused public servant,’ Syiem said.