IMPHAL, December 22: After hectic discussions and deliberations, the Manipur Legislative Assembly today unanimously passed the Manipur Lok Ayukta Bill, 2011.
The Bill which aims at rooting out corruption in the state was introduced to the House yesterday after submitting its report by the Select Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.
The Select Committee recommended for consideration of the Bill to the House and it was passed unanimously on the last day of the three day long 12th session of the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly today.
Despite the Opposition demand for amendments in some key components of the Bill like corruption cases against the Chief Minister, the Bill was later passed unanimously.
As per the Bill, corruption cases against the Chief Minister would be taken up only after taking consent of the Legislative Assembly.
Giving his observation before passing the Bill, opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam stressed the need for in-depth discussions and amendments in some key components of the Manipur Lok Ayukta Bill, 2011.
The Opposition leader also observed that some components of the Bill like punishment and fines to be imposed to corrupt government officials need to be reviewed and examine thoroughly.
In his observation, senior opposition leader O Joy Singh said the competent authority in cases involving the Chief Minister should be the Governor and not the state assembly.
While asserting that the Bill is good in spirit, the opposition member however observed that Governor will be more practicable to take up corruption cases involving the Chief Minister than taking consent of the state assembly.
Joining the discussion, opposition member RK Anand, observed that the Manipur Lok Ayukta Bill, 2011 be passed like the model being followed in Uttaranchal whereby corruption cases including those involving the Chief Minister are being taken up for consideration by a Select Committee consisting of the Chief Minister, MLAs and bureaucrats.
Another opposition member I Ibohalbi while making his observation said NGO’s should also be covered under the Lok Ayukta Bill.
While stating that vigilance department too have been looking into corrupt practices amongst government officials, the opposition member asked the position of this department under the bill.
Speaker I Hemochandra, while terming the Bill as a well framed one expressed his belief that no component of the bill could be misused. He also appealed the members present in the House to unanimously pass the bill in the interest of the general public.
In his deliberation, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh while admitting that corrupt practices are on the rise throughout the country stressed the need to implement a stern law to root out corruption.
He also said Manipur is suffering from corruption and hence the Bill need to be passed in the interest of the people so as to rooting out corruption.
Stating the Bill is being framed in the model followed in Tripura, O Ibobi Singh expressed his belief that there is no room for malpractice.
Amendments to the components of the Bill could be made before it came into force, the Chief Minister appealed the members present in the House to pass the bill. The Manipur Lok Ayukta Bill was later passed unanimously.