The complaint would later be forwarded to the Vigilance Commission for conducting a preliminary inquiry to ascertain whether aprima faciecase exists.
In case the officers belong to Groups A and B, the Vigilance Commission would submit its report to the Lokayukta, and in the case of Groups C and D, it would proceed against them. In case a detailed inquiry is needed, the Inquiry Wing of the Lokayukta would probe the case and submit a report. Based on the report, the Lokayukta would recommend action against the public servants concerned.
“The Lokayukta has the powers to recommend transfer or suspension of any public servant if his/her continuance in the post would affect the preliminary inquiry or run the possibility of destroying or tampering [with] evidence or influencing witnesses,” the Bill stated.
False, frivolous plaints
It also provides for one-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh in case a complaint is proved to be false, frivolous or vexatious. “In case of conviction, such a person shall be liable to pay compensation to the public servant against whom he/she made the false complaint,” it added.
“No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings under this Act shall lie against any public servant, in respect of anything which is done in good faith or intended to be done in the discharge of his official functions or in exercise of his powers,” the Bill added.
The Lokayukta shall not inquire into any complaint, if the complaint is not made within four years from the date on which the offence mentioned in such a complaint is alleged to have been committed. The panel does not have powers to inquire into any complaint submitted against its Chairperson or members.
The Chairperson or a member can be removed if 45 MLAs give a signed representation, which is then referred by the Governor to the High Court for a probe. However, the Governor has the power to remove the Chairperson or the members on various grounds.