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NGOs should be brought under ombudsmen, demands Delhi Lokayukta

Posted on Nov 09, 09:28PM | IANS

The Delhi Lokayukta Friday demanded that the non-government organisations should be brought under the jurisdiction of ombudsmen in various states to give the watchdogs more teeth to effectively deal with graft cases.

"If NGOs are funded by the government, then they are accountable," said Delhi Lokayukta Justice Man Mohan Sarin, adding that a lot of irregularities have been reported in the functioning of NGOs.

Justice Sarin made the demand a week after a conference of Lokayuktas in Delhi had passed a resolution that the voluntary organisations that receive government aid should be brought under the jurisdiction of the ombudsmen.

"In the Commonwealth Games (CWG) corruption case we have not been able to do anything, as it does not fall under our purview," Justice Sarin said.

The definition of public servant should also include members of the civil service, all India services and those who hold civil posts under the union or state governments, he demanded.

"States like Kerala and Maharashtra have already included public officers under the jurisdiction of Lokayukta, which has helped in curbing corruption," the Delhi Lokayukta said.

According to Justice Sarin, at least 50 percent corruption cases that come to Lokayuktas do not fall under their jurisdiction.

"For investigating agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Vigilance Commission, the role supervisory jurisdiction should be decided by Lokayuktas," Sarin said. The power of "search and seizure" should also be given to the ombudsmen, he said.

Lokayuktas from various states met in the national capital for the 11th All India Lokayukta Conference Nov 2. They unanimously passed a resolution that demanded the principal officers of NGOs receiving grants or financial aid from the government be brought under their purview.