An organisation by the name Movement for Change Meghalaya has said that there is no bar in the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act to appoint retired officers in the State Lokayukta.
Slamming the MDA government for the recent removal of three officials of the Meghalaya Lokayukta, the organisation said that it was surprising that the three officials were removed after their enquiry that resulted in the charge sheet of several persons including NPP MLA Sanjay Sangma who is a relative of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma in the corruption case that occurs in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
“There is nothing in the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act that prevents appointment of retired officials in the State Lokayukta. The stand of the government that only in-service officials can be appointed is wrong. If only in-service officials are appointed, they will not be able to function freely as they have to comply with the directions of those in power,” the organisation said.
On the claim by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma that appointment of in-service officials will save public money, the Movement for Change Meghalaya said that several retired officers have been appointed in various departments and commissions of the State government.
“Even former MLAs were appointed as advisers and chairmen of various bodies in the State government. Is this not a wastage of public money?” the organisation asked.
It may be mentioned that three Lokayukta officials who were sacked by the State government unceremoniously by WhatsApp. The three were the Lokayukta’s Director of Inquiry and Prosecution Jainal Rymmai and two enquiry officers – Anil K Sangma and Rymphang Pde.
It was this trio who had unearthed an alleged scam worth crores of rupees that purportedly involved NPP MLA, Sanjay Sangma, who is also the brother-in-law of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
The State government justified the trio’s removal by stating that they were retired government officials and the Lokayukta rules require serving officials to hold the posts.