Hyderabad: This article on Lokpal and Lokayuktas is part of the series that deals with Constitutional and Statutory bodies. Inquiry Wing and Prosecution Wing of the Lokpal: The Lokpal can constitute an Inquiry Wing for Preliminary investigation and a Prosecution Wing to file a case and prosecute the accused. With the constitution of the Inquiry […]
Hyderabad: This article on Lokpal and Lokayuktas is part of the series that deals with Constitutional and Statutory bodies.
Inquiry Wing and Prosecution Wing of the Lokpal:
The Lokpal can constitute an Inquiry Wing for Preliminary investigation and a Prosecution Wing to file a case and prosecute the accused.
With the constitution of the Inquiry Wing and Prosecution Wing, the Lokpal need not depend on any other agency for inquiry or prosecution, and can function independently.
Investigation process under the act:
Complaints are received by the Lokpal
A preliminary inquiry to be completed in 60 days is conducted by the inquiry wing or any other agency directed by the Lokpal to ascertain whether the complaint is correct.
If the Lokpal decides to go ahead with the investigation, then it must first seek explanation from the accused and then hand over the investigation to any agency.
The investigating agency must complete the inquiry and submit its report with in a time period of six months
Based on the investigation report, the Lokpal may decide to recommend action against the accused to the concerned department or government or sanction prosecution of the accused in the Special Court.
Powers of the Lokpal:
* Power of superintendence over, and to give direction to agencies investigating into cases referred by it.
* Power to order search and seize of documents relevant to the case.
* Power to utilise services of officers of Central or State Government.
* Power of provisional attachment of property acquired through corrupt means for a period of 30 days; the attachment can be extended beyond 30 days with the permission of the special court. However, the power to confiscate the property lies with the special court only.
* Power to recommend transfer or suspension of public servant connected with allegation of corruption.
* Power to give directions to prevent destruction of records during preliminary inquiry.
Lokpal and CBI:
Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency, including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
The Central government shall constitute Special Courts to hear and decide the cases related to corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, or under this Act. These courts will conduct the trail in a time-bound manner i.e., within a period of one year from the date of filing of the case in the Court. If for any reason the trail could not be completed in a period of one year, then the reasons for the same must be recorded and the trail must be completed within the next one year.
The new bill mandates states to set up Lokayuktas within 365 days. However, the composition, constitution, powers and functions of the Lokayukta will be determined by the States.
Penalty for false complaints:
Any false and frivolous complaints can be punished with imprisonment for a term up to one year and with fine a fine up to one lakh rupees.
Amendment 2016 – Key Provisions:
Enable the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha in the absence of a recognised Leader of Opposition to be a member of the selection committee that would select the ombudsman.
Amends section 44 of parent Act that deals with provision of furnishing of details of assets and liabilities of public servants within 30 days of joining the government service.
The amendment has removed the period of 30 days. Now, the public servants will make declaration of their assets and liabilities in the form and manner as prescribed by government.
Gives extension of the time given to public servants and trustees and board members of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to declare their assets and those of their spouses.
In this case, public servants and trustees and board members of NGOs must be receiving government declare their assets and those of their spouses.
In this case, public servants and trustees and board members of NGOs must be receiving government fund of more than Rs 1 crore or foreign funding of more than Rs 10 lakh.
To be continued
— By Shikara Academy