The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2013 seeks to establish the institution of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of States. It seeks to provide a uniform vigilance and anti-corruption road map at the Centre and in the States.

The jurisdiction of the Lokpal will include the Prime Minister except on allegations of corruption relating to international relations, security, the public order, atomic energy and space and unless a Full Bench of the Lokpal and at least two-thirds of members approve an inquiry. It will be held in-camera and if the Lokpal so desires, the records of the inquiry will not be published or made available to anyone.

The Lokpal will also have jurisdiction over Ministers and MPs but not in the matter of anything said in Parliament or a vote given there.

Group A, B, C or D officers defined as such under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 will be covered under the Lokpal but any corruption complaint against Group A and B officers, after inquiry, will come to the Lokpal. However, in the case of Group C and D officers, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner will investigate and report to the Lokpal.

There will be a Directorate of Prosecution under the CBI headed by a Director. The CBI Director will be appointed by a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India. The Prosecution Director will be appointed on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission for a two-year tenure.

If the Lokpal decides to proceed on any complaint, it can order a preliminary inquiry against any public servant by its Inquiry Wing or any agency, including the CBI, to ascertain if there is a prima facie case, and the public servant will be given an opportunity of being heard.

The Lokpal will have powers of superintendence over cases referred by it to the CBI. Any officer of the CBI investigating a case referred to it by the Lokpal will not be transferred without its approval.

The Centre will fund the CBI investigations into the matters referred to it by the Lokpal.

Composition

The Bill provides for the Lokpal comprising a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of whom 50 per cent will be judicial members and the rest from amongst the SC, the ST, the OBCs, minorities and women. Apart from the Inquiry Wing, there will be an independent Prosecution Wing of the Lokpal.

The selection of the Lokpal will be done through a committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Chief Justice of India or an apex court judge nominated by him and an eminent jurist as recommended by the chairperson and members to be nominated by the President.

The Selection Committee will constitute a search panel of seven persons of eminence for assisting it.

The term of the Lokpal will be five years or till the chairman and members turn 75.

The Bill does not provide for protection to whistle-blowers, for which a separate law shall be enacted. There will be separate laws on a Citizens’ Charter and Judicial Accountability.

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