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HindustanTimes Fri,21 Nov 2014

The Powers of the Lokpal

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 01, 2011
First Published: 20:37 IST(1/1/2011) | Last Updated: 20:56 IST(1/1/2011)

The latest draft of the Lokpal bill, ninth since 1968, provides for a  three member body, comprising a chairman - a sitting or retired Chief  Justice of India or former judge of the Supreme Court — and two members, to be chosen from among sitting or retired judges of the Supreme Court, or  sitting or retired Chief Justices of High Courts.

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To fast track the probe in corruption cases, the bill states that the lokpal would have to complete the probe within six months and submit a  report.

It has also been empowered to sentence those found guilty upto a maximum  punishment of three years and imposition of fine upto Rs. 50,000. The  decisions of the lokpal would only be challenged in the Supreme Court.

However, the lokpal would not have the powers to investigate any complaint  against the President, Vice-President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok  Sabha, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, sitting Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and other constitutional functionaries like the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Election Commissioners.

Before taking up complaints against the Prime Minister, his council of  ministers and MPs, the lokpal would have to seek the concurrence of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha as the case may be.


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