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Lokpal Likely to Seek Affidavit for Complaints Against Public Servants

June 13, 2019 05:22 AM


Lokpal Likely to Seek Affidavit for Complaints Against Public Servants
PROPOSED DRAFT RULE Move to ensure the independent body is not misused to settle personal scores; complainants will face legal consequences if allegations turn out to be bogus:Official

New Delhi:

A person who lodges a complaint against a public servant with anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal may have to give an affidavit on the charges made, according to people familiar with the rules being drafted to ensure that the independent body is not misused to settle personal scores.

Complainants will face legal consequences if their allegations turn out to be bogus, a top official aware of the draft rule told ET, adding that complainants will have to disclose their identity, share address and contact numbers. They may also be asked to give an affidavit that the case details are genuine, the official said.

The draft rule, if approved, will have to be notified by the department of personnel and training.

The Lokpal has jurisdiction to inquire ito allegations of corruption against present and former prime ministers, union ministers, members of parliament, as well as central government officials.

The move to have a declaration is an improvement on the existing Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guideline that bars the government from acting against its employees on anonymous and pseudonymous complaints.

A form listing the rules for filing complaints will be made public soon. As per the official website of the Lokpal, the anti-corruption body had decided to scrutinise all complaints received in its office till April 16, 2019 "in whatever form they were sent". After scrutiny, complaints that did not fall within the mandate of the Lokpal were disposed of and complainants are being informed accordingly, it stated. The Lokpal, operating from a makeshift office at Ashoka Hotel, is also scouting for a permanent place to house its staff. The government, according to sources, has offered some space in the NDMC building near Jantar Mantar, but that may not be adequate to accommodate the employees of Lokpal, which is far from becoming fully functional. Although the chairman and eight other members of the Lokpal were sworn in in March, the DoPT is yet to give a panel of names for selection of secretary to look after its administrative affairs.

The DoPT, the sources said, is busy since a new government has assumed office and may take some time for notifying rules framed by the Lokpal

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