The much-delayed Lokpal Bill has finally been passed by both the Houses of Parliament.
Following are some important features of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, passed by Parliament;
- Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of the states.
- Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50 per cent shall be judicial members.
- 50 per cent of members of Lokpal shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.
- The selection of chairperson and members of Lokpal shall be through a selection committee consisting of prime minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI, eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India on the basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee.
- Prime minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal.
- Lokpal's jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants. All entities receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act in excess of Rs 10 lakh per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
- Provides adequate protection for honest and upright public servants.
- Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
- A high powered committee chaired by the prime minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI.
- Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director.
- The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.
- Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal.
- The bill also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.
- The bill lays down clear time lines for preliminary enquiry and investigation and trial and towards this end, the bill provides for setting up of special courts.
- A mandate for setting up of the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within a period of 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.