Salient features of amendments to Lokpal and Lokayuktas bill 2011 approved by the cabinet on January 31, 2013
Ministry of Home Affairs
Collegium for Selection of Lokpal:
The Bill provides for selection of Members of Lokpal by a Selection Committee comprising the Prime Minister, Speaker (Lok Sabha), Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha), Cheif Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI and an eminent jurist nominated by the President. The Select Committee has recommended that the fifth member of the Selection Committee (i.e., eminent jurist) may be nominated by the President on the basis of recommendation of the first four members of the Selection Committee. Government has accepted this recommendation.
Jurisdiction over bodies receiving donations from public:
Power to order investigation straight away:
Select Committee has recommended that the Lokpal should be given power to order an investigation straightaway (without first ordering a preliminary inquiry) in case Lokpal finds that a prima facie case exists. Government has accepted this recommendation subject to the modification that the Lokpal should, before coming to a conclusion that there exists a prima facie case for entrusting the matter for investigation, call for the explanation of the public servant and then decide whether there exists a prima facie case for ordering investigation.
Opportunity of Hearing to public servant:
Power to order prosecution of public servants:
The Select Committee has recommended that the power to grant sanction for prosecution of public servants could be shifted to the Lokpal in place of the Government. The Select Committee has also recommended that Lokpal may be required to seek comments of the competent authority and the public servant before taking such decision. Government has decided to accept this recommendation of the Select Committee.
Strengthening of CBI:
(i) The setting up of a Directorate of prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director, CBI;
(ii) The appointment of the Director of Prosecution on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission;
(iii) Maintenance of a panel of advocates by CBI, other than the Government Advocates, with the consent of the Lokpal for handling Lokpal referred cases;
(iv) Provision of adequate funds to CBI for investigating cases referred by Lokpal;
(v) Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal.
Government has decided to accept all these recommendations except the last one, i.e., seeking approval of Lokpal for transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by the Lokpal , which is proposed not to be accepted as it would affect the smooth functioning of the CBI.
Other salient features of the Bill
Powers of supervision over CBI :
The Bill confers powers of superintendence on the Lokpal over the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) in respect of matters referred by the Lokpal for inquiry/investigation.
Appointment of Director, CBI:
A high powered Committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI.
Attachment/confiscation of ill-gotten property:
The Bill contains provisions for attachment/ confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.
Enhancement of punishments under Prevention of Corruption Act:
The Bill proposes to enhance punishments under Prevention of Corruption Act:
(a) Maximum punishment from 7 years to 10 years
(b) Minimum punishment from 6 months to 2 years.
Source: Press Information Bureau