National

Rules and format for filing complaints with Lokpal issued

Lokpal chairman Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose. File

Lokpal chairman Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose. File   | Photo Credit: M. Murali

They can be filed electronically, by post or in person with proof of identity

Almost a year after the Lokpal became functional, the Department of Personnel and Training has issued a notification providing the rules and prescribed format for filing complaints with the anti-corruption ombudsman.

The notification, under Section 59 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, lays down the rules called the Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, 2020.

According to the complaint forms, published as part of the notification, a complainant has to give a valid proof of identity, as specified therein. Foreign nationals can also lodge complaints. Only a copy of their passports will be accepted as proof of identity.

The complaint can be filed electronically, by post or in person. In case the complaint is filed electronically, its hard copy has to be submitted to the Lokpal within 15 days.

Also read: The principle and procedure in Lokpal

No complaints can be filed against a public servant under the Army Act, Navy Act, Air Force Act and the Coast Guard Act.

“A complaint may ordinarily be made in English, provided that the Lokpal may also entertain a complaint in any of the languages referred to in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution,” says the notification.

Apart from the details of the accused official(s), allegation and the evidence relied upon, the complainant or the authorised signatory will also have to submit an affidavit.

Registration/incorporation certificate of the organisation, on whose behalf the complaint is made and copy of authorisation certificate in favour of the signatory, if the complaint is on behalf of a board, body, corporation, company, limited liability partnership, authority, society, association of persons or trusts, has to be furnished.

Also read: Lokpal, at last

The Lokpal bench will decide the complaint in the first instance at the admission stage. The Lokpal may seek other details or affidavit, if necessary.

The identity of the complainant or the accused official will be protected by the Lokpal till the conclusion of inquiry or investigation. However, the protection will not be applicable in cases where the complainant herself reveals her identity to any other office or authority while making the complaint to Lokpal.

Also read: Explained | What are the powers and duties of Lokpal?

The complaints, whose contents are illegible, vague or ambiguous, which are trivial or frivolous, do not contain any allegation, are not filed within the limitation period of seven years, or are pending before any other court, tribunal or authority, will have to be disposed of within 30 days.

The Lokpal started functioning in March last year after the appointment of its Chairman and Members. It has so far received over 1,100 complaints, most of which have been disposed of without initiation of any inquiry.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:23:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rules-and-format-for-filing-complaints-with-lokpal-issued/article30972414.ece

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