The Bombay High Court's bench in Goa on Wednesday directed the the state government to appoint a new Lokayukta within three months.
The order was passed by a bench of Justices M.S. Sonak and M.S. Jawalkar, while hearing a petition filed by city lawyer Aires Rodrigues, who had sought direction to the state government to fill up the post which fell vacant after retirement of incumbent, Justice P.K. Mishra, on September 17.
"Taking into consideration the mandate as well as purpose of enactment of the Lokayukta Act, we feel that this vacancy has to be filled in as expeditiously as possible so that the institution of the Lokayukta functions in the state of Goa.
"Therefore, we direct the state to take effective steps to fill up this post as expeditiously as possible and, in any case, within a period of three months from today," the court said.
Earlier, state Advocate General Devidas Pangam argued before the court that it was not possible to indicate a clear deadline for the appointment of the new Lokayukta.
Only a retired Judge of the Supreme Court or a retired Chief Justice of any High Court, can be appointed as Lokayukta, according to the Goa Lokayukta Act, 2011.
Pangam also informed the court that the state government had already written to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, seeking names of candidates who are eligible and willing to be appointed as Lokayukta.
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