Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011
The historic Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011 was passed by the Parliament on 18 December 2013. The Bill seeks to establish an anti-corruption watchdog that will have even the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in its purview.
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2013 was passed by voice vote amid the opposition from the members Seemandhra region who were protesting against division of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana state, The Samajwadi party and Shiv Sena, while the passage of the Bill was welcomed by anti-corruption crusader and social activist Anna Hazare.
Important features of Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011:
- Under the Act, Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the States are to be set up.
- The Lokpal must have a Chairperson and a maximum of eight members of which 50% shall be judicial members
- The Lokpal Chairperson or member shall not be connected with any political party and one member will be an eminent jurist nominated by the President.
- Selection committee for the Selection of Chairperson of Lokpal and the members consists of:
- Prime Minister
- Speaker of Lok Sabha
- Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha
- Chief Justice of India or sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI
- Eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India on the basis of recommendations of the four members of the Selection Committee.
- All ministers including Prime Minister and senior public servants excluding the public servants under Army, Navy and Coastal guard are covered by the ombudsman.
- Any donations from foreign source in excess of 10 lakh rupees per year in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
- Lokpal would provide 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.