Business Standard

Lokpal to accept corruption complaints filed in prescribed format only

The corruption complaint can also be filed electronically, by post or in person

corruption, bribe, bribery

Lokpal to accept corruption complaints filed in prescribed format only.

Press Trust of India New Delhi
Anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal has decided to accept corruption complaints for further disposal only if they are filed in a prescribed format.
The central government had in March 2020 notified the Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, which prescribe the format to file a complaint.
In accordance with these rules, Lokpal had issued a circular in July last year detailing the procedure to be followed for dealing with the complaints received in its office.
Subsequently, vide a corrigendum dated February 10 this year, it was decided that complaints that are not in the prescribed format shall be put up before the Lokpal chairperson for necessary orders or action.
The provisions contained in the corrigendum now have been revisited by the full bench of Lokpal.
"The full bench of Lokpal of India has decided that henceforth (with immediate effect), complaints received (by any mode viz. by hand/ by post/ through email etc.) in the office of the Lokpal of India that are not in the prescribed form will not be processed further for any order under Section 20 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013," the Lokpal said in an official note dated August 24.
Section 20 carries details of procedure in respect of the preliminary inquiry and investigation by Lokpal.
However, "as a last opportunity", the complainants who had filed complaints that were not in the prescribed format may fix the errors latest by September 15.
The form is available on the website of the Lokpal of India -- https://lokpal.gov.in.
"Upon expiry of this period, complaints filed in the prescribed form only and received in the office of Lokpal of India will be taken up on record for further disposal. No action under Section 20 of the Act will be taken on complaints that are not filed in the prescribed form," the note said.
The Lokpal said its corrigendum issued in February this year "stands withdrawn".
As many as 5,680 complaints were received by the Lokpal during 2021-22 fiscal.
Of these, 169 were classified under 'format' and 5,511 under 'non-format' category, the Lokpal's office had said in a recent reply to an RTI query filed by this PTI journalist.
All complainants have to mandatorily give an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper, that among other things mentions, "making any false and frivolous or vexatious complaint is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees", according to the form prescribed for filing the complaint.
The Lokpal had on September 1 last year, for the convenience of complainants, decided that the term 'non-judicial stamp paper' would include all modes of collection of stamp duty, i.e. non-judicial stamp paper, e-stamping, franking machine (franking is a process of impressing instead of stamping), notary stamp, revenue stamp, adhesive/non adhesive stamp and court fee stamp.
The corruption complaint can also be filed electronically, by post or in person.
However, when the complaint is filed electronically, a hard copy thereof shall be required to be submitted to Lokpal within 15 days from the date of filing.
A complaint shall contain the details of allegations about the commission of an offence by the public servant, that include the prime minister, a Union minister, Members of Parliament and government employees among others.
Lokpal, the apex body to inquire into and investigate allegations of corruption against public functionaries has been working without its regular chief since May 27.
Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty, a judicial member of Lokpal, has been holding additional charge of the post of chairperson after Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose completed his term.
The Lokpal is headed by a chairperson and can have eight members -- four judicial and rest non-judicial.
At present, there are six members in the Lokpal. Two posts of judicial members have been lying vacant for over two years.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Aug 26 2022 | 1:59 PM IST

Explore News