Finally, the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas Bill that has been making headlines for past 2 years has been passed by Lok Sabha after Rajya Sabha gave its nod yesterday in the Winter session.
Here are some of the important Highlights of Lokpal Bill
— Lokpal Bill will be implemented at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the State level.
— The Lokpal will consist of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight Members, of which fifty percent shall be judicial members.
— Fifty per cent of members of Lokpal shall be from amongst SC/ST/OBCs, Minorities and Women.
— The selection committee for appointing Members of Lokpal will consist of:-
- Prime Minister;
- Speaker of Lok Sabha;
- Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha;
- Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI;
- Eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India on the basis of recommendations of the first four members of the Selection Committee.
— Prime Minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal.
— Lokpal’s jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants.
— All entities receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
–Lokpal will provides adequate protection for honest and upright Public Servants.
— Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
— A high powered Committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director,CBI.
— Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director;
— The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission;
— Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal;
— The Bill also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.
— The Bill lays down clear time lines for Preliminary enquiry & investigation and trial and towards this end, the Bill provides for setting up of Special Courts.
— A mandate for setting up of the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within a period of 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.
Now, with Lokpal getting implemented in next 1 year, we really hope that the it brings about a positive change in transparency and Governance in India!
Would love to hear reader’s views on this!