Salient features of Lokpal bill
The Select Committee Friday presented in the Rajya Sabha its report on the Lokpal Bill. Here are some recommendations and amendments brought by it.
* Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and maximum eight members, of which 50 percent shall be judicial members. Fifty percent members will be SC, ST or OBC, minorities and women. It will have an enquiry wing for preliminary inquiry and an independent prosecution wing.
* Prime Minister will be brought under the purview of Lokpal, but with limitations. Any issue relating to international relations, external and internal security of the country, public order and atomic energy will not be probed by Lokpal.
* Lokpal's jurisdiction will cover all A, B, C and D groups of government employees.
* The committee has recommended taking out organisations, societies and associations "aided" by government from the purview of Lokpal. Select Committee head Satyavrat Chaturvedi said inclusion of government "aided" institutions will unduly bring thousands of organisations even like the temples, mosques and gurudwaras under the bill. It will however also exempt bodies like private hospitals.
* The Lokpal bill passed by Lok Sabha said persons "connected" with any political party are ineligible to be chairman, or member Lokpal. Select Committee replaces the word "connected" with "affiliated".
* When it comes to enquiry of allegation, the committee says Lokpal can start or order investigation on receipt of complains. There will be no need for the Lokpal to seek permission from the public servant or competent authority. The accused will be heard only after preliminary enquiry is complete.
* On the much debated point of CBI's independence, the committee says CBI will have a separate Director of Prosecution appointed by the CVC. Both, the CBI director and director of prosecution will have fixed two-year term.
Lokpal will have superintendence over and direction to Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) in Lokpal referred cases. CBI officers investigating cases referred by Lokpal will not be transferred without Lokpal's consent. The CBI will have a panel of non-government advocates.
* Time frame has been given for enquiry -
Preliminary enquiry - three months
Investigation - six months, this can be extended by six months at a time.
Trial - one year, extendable by one year.
* Maximum punishment under Prevention of Corruption Act has been increased to 10 years, and minimum will be two years.