Centre Seeks Views of State Governments and Political Parties on Lokpal

The Centre has sought the views of State Governments and Political Parties on certain issues related to drafting of Lokpal Bill. The text of the letter written by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Shri PranabMukherjee is as follows:

The issue of setting up of a Lokpal to curb corruption in high places has been under the consideration of the Government of India for some time. In this context, the Legislative Department had prepared a draft Lokpal Bill in 2010, a copy of which is annexed. Simultaneously, some members from civil society have been advocating setting up of a Lokpal and a draft bill prepared by them is also annexed.

You would be aware that the Government of India have constituted a Joint Drafting Committee in April 2011 (copy annexed) which has had five meetings so far. There are, however, some basic issues where the Government feels that consultations with all stakeholders is necessary before we finalize the draft of the Lokpal Bill. As Chief Minister of State Government, you are an important stakeholder and we would like to have the benefit of your views on these vital issues:

i)    There have been demands from the Civil Society members that one single Act should provide for both the Lokpal in the Centre andLokayukta in the State. Would your State Government be willing to accept a draft provision for the Lokayukta on the same lines as that of the Lokpal?

ii)   Should the Prime Minister be brought within the purview of the Lokpal? If the answer is in the affirmative, should there be a qualified inclusion (in which case you may also suggest qualifications for such an inclusion).

iii)  Should judges of the Supreme Court/High Court be brought within the purview of the Lokpal?

iv)  Should the conduct of Members of Parliament inside Parliament (speaking or voting in the House) be brought within the purview of theLokpal? (Presently such actions are covered under Article 105 (2) of the Constitution).

v)   Whether articles 311 and 320 (3) (c) of the Constitution notwithstanding members of a civil service of the Union or an all India service or a civil service of a State or a person holding a civil post under the Union or State, be subject to enquiry and disciplinary action including dismissal/removal by the Lokpal/Lokayukta, as the case may be?

vi)  What should be the definition of the Lokpal, and should it itself exercise quasi-judicial powers also or delegate these powers to its subordinate officers?

3.       As all the above issues are of vital importance that would impinge upon the governance structure in the years to come, and also possibly affect the framework envisaged under the Constitution, I look forward to having the benefit of your views on these matters. For ease of answering, I have enclosed a questionnaire which you may find of use.

4.       As the Joint Drafting Committee has been given a mandate to complete its work latest by 30th June 2011, I would request you to let me have your views on the above matters at the earliest possible, preferably by 6thJune 2011.

5.       A copy of this letter is also being displayed on the website of Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.


Questions Options
1. Should there be a one Single Act providing for both theLokpal in the Centre and theLokayukta in the State?
  • No
  • Yes
2. Should the Prime Minister be brought within the purview of the proposed Lokpal?
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes, but certain areas excluded
3. Should the judges of the High Court and the Supreme Court be brought within the purview of the proposedLokpal?
  • No
  • No, but provisions should be made to investigate misconduct of judges in the proposed judicial Accountability and Standards Bill.
  • Yes
4. Should the conduct of MPs inside Parliament (speaking or voting) be brought within the purview of the proposedLokpal?
  • No, because Articles 105(2) of the Constitution prohibit such an enquiry.
  • Yes, but the Constitution would have to be amended suitably.
5. Should the Lokpal have the powers to enquire against and dismiss/remove a member of the civil service of the Union or an All India Service officer or who holds a civil post under the Union?
  • No because

i)   Article 311 of the Constitutionstipulates  no such person can be dismissed/removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.

ii)  Article 320(3)(c) mandates that the UPSC/State PSC shall be consulted on all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government in a civil capacity.

  • Yes, but the Constitution will have to be suitably amended.
6. What should be the definition of ˜Lokpal™?
  • Lokpal, should be a multi-member body that will exercise all quasi-judicial powers with the members sitting together or in benches (like the Supreme Court or High Court)
  • Lokpal should be a multi-member body that will exercise some quasi-judicial powers but will have the authority to delegate its quasi-judicial powers to a hierarchy of subordinate offices (like CBDT, CBEC etc.)
  • Lokpal should be a multi-member body that will exercise supervisory powers over several tiers of officers who will exercise quasi-judicial powers.



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