Government has set the ball rolling for appointment of chairperson and eight members of Lokpal by inviting applications for the posts.
It has also decided to expedite passage of four pending anti-corruption legislations in Parliament as part of the resolve to give the nation an effective anti-corruption framework, the Ministry of Personnel on Friday said.
Out of the eight members in the Lokpal, four will be from the judiciary and the rest non-judicial. Fifty per cent of the members shall be from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class, minorities and women.
These vacancies have been circulated to the Registrar of Supreme Court, Registrars of High Courts, Chief Secretaries of State governments and secretaries in the central government departments and Ministries, calling for nomination of eligible candidates by February 7, 2014.
“The new enactment is indicative of the resolve of the Parliament and the government to give to the nation an effective anti-corruption framework,” it said.
The historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 passed by Parliament — on December 17, 2013 in the Rajya Sabha and on December 18, 2013 in the Lok Sabha — paves the way for setting up of the institution of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in States within one year of coming into force of the Act.
The new law provides for a mechanism for dealing with complaints of corruption against public functionaries, including those in high places.
“Another significant feature of the Act is that it has taken its present shape after repeated consultations with all stake holders including civil society.
“The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act is perhaps the only legislation in the history of independent India, which has been so widely discussed, both inside and outside Parliament and has, thus generated so much awareness in the public mind about the need to have an effective institution of Lokpal to tackle corruption,” the release said.
Government has decided to expedite four pending anti-corruption legislations — Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2011, Foreign Bribery Bill and Private Sector Corruption, Amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act and Right to Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services Bill in the Parliament.
As per Whistleblowers Protection Bill, persons who report corruption or wilful misuse of power or discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant need statutory protection.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 27, 2011 and it is now pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public officials and officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in March 2011.
The department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law & Justice and Personnel has submitted its report on the Bill and the majority of its recommendations have been accepted by the government.
The Bill could not be taken up for discussion during the recent winter Session of Parliament.
The government has decided to amend the prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by incorporating provisions for confiscation and forfeiture of property illegally acquired by corrupt public servants.
This Bill was introduced in Parliament on August 19, 2013 and has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, and Law & Justice for examination.
The Centre has introduced The Right of Citizens for Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, aimed at empowering citizens and to improve accountability and transparency in governance in the Lok Sabha in December, 2011.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice has submitted its report on the Bill to Parliament. The Bill is presently pending in the Lok Sabha.