File image of Justice (retired) Pranoy Kumar Musahary (left) shaking hand with Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy after taking oath as the first chairperson of the Meghalaya Lokayukta. Photo: Northeast Now

The first Meghalaya Lokayukta Chief, Justice (retired) Pranoy Kumar Musahary, the former judge of Gauhati High Court, took oath as the first chairperson of the Meghalaya Lokayukta, more than four years after the Meghalaya Lokyukta Act, 2014 came into force.

Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy administered the oath of office and secrecy to Musahary at the Raj Bhavan here on Tuesday in presence of tourism minister Metbah Lyngdoh, education minister Lahkmen Rymbui and leader of Opposition in Assembly Mukul Sangma besides civil and police officers.

However Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy, chief minister, Conrad K Sangma, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, home minister James K. Sangma and other ministers were not present.

“I appeal to the public to cooperate with the Lokayukta and file complaints against people who indulge in corruption,” Musahary told reporters in a brief interaction after the oath taking ceremony.

Besides the chairperson, the Lokayukta will have four members.

The Lokayukta chief also urged the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government to take steps to appoint the four members of the Lokayukta immediately as well as appoint officers like the secretary to the Lokayukta and other officers in the rank of superintendent of police who would make preliminary inquiry into allegations made in the complaint.

Musahary was named as the Lokayukta chief in July this year by the select committee of the state government.

Earlier, Meghalaya and other states were also pressurized by the Supreme Court to complete the process of constituting the Lokayukta at the earliest.

The Meghalaya Lokayukta Bill, 2014 was introduced in the state Assembly on March 7, 2014 by former chief minister Mukul Sangma during the Congress-led government and the same was passed by the House.

The Meghalaya Lokayukta Act provides for the establishment of Lokayukta in the state to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, right from the chief minister, deputy chief minister, minister, speaker and deputy speaker of Assembly, members of the state legislature, officers and employees and others.

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