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TURA | Jan 31:

The Meghalaya Lokayukta today refused to give a respite to the state government in the Khliehriat case and refused to recall or modify the order as requested by the government, accusing the latter of trying to interfere with the powers and functions of an independent body.

The state Lokayukta made this observation today after hearing the case of Abhijit Basumatary and another over the wanton corruption through the export check point in Khliehriat district of Meghalaya.

On Jan 9, the Lokayukta had sought a CBI investigation into the case of corruption by authorities of various departments, including police, local administration, land customs among others while also asking for the transfer of officials within 15 days of the order to allow for a fair investigation.

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The state, through the joint secretary, government of Meghalaya’s political department had sought a recall or modification of the order, to which the Court refused outright.

The state had sought for a preliminary investigation under Sec 11 of the state Lokayukta Act instead of one led by the CBI.

The case was represented by lawyers S Sen for the government and PT Sangma (counsel for Abdul Ahad Choudhury).

Unhappy with the government stance on the inquiry sought, the state Lokayukta came down heavily on the request for recall as well questioning its investigation by the CBI.

The Lokayukta had called upon the CBI for an inquiry as it has no investigative body at its disposal for now.

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“Zero tolerance is the policy adopted by the state Lokayukta as well as the central government Act at the time of moving the Bill for Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013. They have been given rights to receive complaints as well as supervise the enquiry into the matter of corruption,” observed the Lokayukta.

The Court further stated that there was nothing in the state Act that bars an investigation by a central agency and the reason for referring the matter to the CBI has already been mentioned in the earlier order (lack of an investigative wing).

The Lokayukta further stated that there seemed to be something sinister about the objection raised on referring the matter to the CBI.

Stating that the Lokayukta was to act as an independent body, the Court accused the political department of trying to interfere with the powers and functions of the Lokayukta.

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“There is no valid reason for making such objections and accordingly the Court of Lokayukta is of the view that it will not tolerate such type of interference. The Court made it clear through its earlier order and it is not inclined to allow the request of the government, rather it is inclined to reject the application for recalling and modifying the order,” observed the chairperson, PK Mushahary.

On the question of the government on which officials to transfer, the Court provided specific details asking for the transfer of the superintendent of police, DSP, Circle Officer, Officer in Charge at the PS and outpost.

All these officers, who have been posted there for over a year need to be transferred,” stated the Court.

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