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CM under ambit of Jan Lokpal; upto life term for corruption

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Jan Lokpal Bill, which will be brought in a special session of assembly beginning February 13, will have life imprisonment as maximum punishment for corruption, even as Chief Minister's office has been kept under its ambit.

"The draft bill seeks life imprisonment as maximum punishment while six months in jail has been proposed as minimum punishment. The maximum time for investigation has been kept at 12 months," said a senior official today.

He added that anybody found guilty or dismissed from service will not be entitled to any government benefits including pension.

The Chief Minister's office as well as DDA, NDMC and police have also been kept under the ambit of the Bill, said officials.

This provision may be opposed by the Centre as all the three agencies report directly to the Home Ministry.

As per the draft Bill, the anti-corruption branch of government will be merged with Lokayukta. Lokayukta can take suo moto cognisance of corruption charges as well as prosecute the corrupt officials. There will be two wings of the Lokayukta, an investigation wing and a prosecution wing.

In the Lokayukta panel, there will be one Lokpal and 10 other members, who will be selected by a seven-member committee.

The selection committee comprises Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition, two sitting High Court Judges, one previous Lokayukta and two eminent personalities who will be selected by other members.

"There is no caveat on filing corruption charges against any public servant including the Chief Minister. Any general public or government official can complain to Lokayukta about corruption cases as per the draft bill," added the official.

A committee headed by the Chief Secretary and secretaries of Urban Development, Law and Finance departments, besides advocate Rahul Mehra was given the responsibility of drafting the Bill.

Unlike Centre's Jan Lokpal Bill, there are provisions for protection of whistle-blowers and witnesses in the draft bill, besides Citizen's Charter under the Delhi's version of the bill, the official added.

A meeting of the Delhi Cabinet, presided by Kejriwal, today deliberated on the draft at lenght. The final decision on the bill is likely to be taken by the cabinet on Monday.

The cabinet, however, has decided to call the special Assembly session from February 13 to 16 for the passing of the Bill. The House will sit at the Indira Gandhi stadium on the last day of the session where public will also be invited to attend.

First Published: Fri, January 31 2014. 21:29 IST