- Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) has decided to approach the country’s first Lokpal to lodge a complaint against Prime Minister over his role in the Rafale deal and Sahara Birla diaries.Recently,Selection committee led by Prime minister has cleared Justice (retd) Pinaki Chandra Ghose as India’s first Lokpal.
- The Government had enacted the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act,2013.The Act allows setting up of anti-corruption ombudsman called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the State-level.
- The act defined public servant to include (a)Prime Minister (b)Ministers, (c)members of Parliament (c)Groups A, B, C and D officers (d)officials of Central Government and (e)entities(NGOs) receiving donations from foreign source under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs 10 lakh per year.The Act also includes the Lokpal’s own members under the definition of public servant.
- The Lokpal will consists of various wings.It will have an Inquiry Wing which will be headed by the Director of Inquiry,for the purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.It will also have a Prosecution Wing,headed by the Director of Prosecution,for the purpose of prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint by the Lokpal under this Act.
- The Lokpal may,after receiving a complaint against any public servant, order a preliminary inquiry which should be completed within 90 days. After receiving the report of the preliminary inquiry,the Lokpal may (a)order an investigation by any agency or (b)departmental proceedings or (c)any other appropriate action against the concerned public servants by the competent authority or (d)it can order closure of the proceedings.
- The Act does not allow a Lokpal inquiry if the allegation against the Prime Minister relates to (a)international relations (b)external and internal security (c)public order (d)atomic energy and (e)space.Also,complaints against the Prime Minister are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of an inquiry and at least two-thirds of the members approve it.Such an inquiry against the Prime Minister (if conducted) is to be held in camera and if the Lokpal comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry are not to be published or made available to anyone.
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