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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

AAP govt's Jan Lokpal to be tough on officials

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 28, 2014
First Published: 02:42 IST(28/1/2014) | Last Updated: 08:40 IST(28/1/2014)

To ensure those in position of power act responsibly, the AAP-led Delhi government in its draft of the Jan Lokpal bill has included provisions of harsher punishment for such officers if found guilty by the Lokayukta.

The draft of the much-awaited bill is almost ready and the broad contours of it will be discussed in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, to be chaired by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The draft, a copy of which is with HT, states that there will be two wings of the Lokayukta – an investigation wing and a prosecution wing – that will try offences referred to them by the Lokayukta special courts, which will be set up in the city.

“A special court may take into consideration the higher rank of an accused person while awarding him harsher sentence. The punishment in any case of corruption will not be less than six months of imprisonment and may extend up to life imprisonment,” states the draft. 

The draft of the Lokayukta bill also has a provision that an officer found guilty can be dismissed, removed or the Lokayukta can initiate proceedings for reduction in rank.

“If an officer is dismissed he or she will not be entitled to get any benefits such as pension or medical benefits. The Lokayukta will have the power to take such actions,” said a senior Delhi government official requesting anonymity.

Delhi government sources said that on Monday a meeting was held where senior officials, members of the Jan Lokpal committee and activist lawyer and AAP’s national executive member Prashant Bhushan were present.

The draft also has given special emphasis on the ‘whistleblower’ – which has been defined in the draft as any public official or any other person having information of any corruption in the public authority.

To ensure investigation is completed on time and for speedy trial the draft says that every investigating officer should complete the investigation within a period of six months and the period of investigation shall not extend beyond twelve months.


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