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Lokpal gets 4,244 complaints this fiscal till January

New Delhi: Anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal has received 4,244 corruption complaints between April 2021 and January 31, 2022, a jump of over 80 per cent from 2020-21. It had got 1,427 complaints during 2019-20 financial year.

"Total 4,244 number of complaints (including format and non-format) have been received through online/offline and email during the financial year 2021-22 (upto January 31, 2022)," the Lokpal said in reply to an RTI query.

A total of 2,355 complaints (including format and non-format) were received through online/offline and email during 2020-21.

The government had in March 2020 issued a format for filing corruption complaints with the Lokpal against public servants.

All complainants have to mandatorily give an affidavit on 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 .

A complaint has to contain the details of allegations about the commission of an offence by the public servant.

The Lokpal can entertain complaints in any of the 22 languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Assamese and Marathi, referred to in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

An online system that enables people to file corruption complaints with the Lokpal was inaugurated in December last year.

On March 23, 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind had administered the oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the chairperson of the Lokpal, the apex body to inquire into and investigate allegations of corruption against public functionaries, including the Prime Minister.

The Lokpal's eight members — four judicial and the rest non-judicial — were administered the oath of office by Justice Ghose on March 27, 2019. At present, the Lokpal has two vacancies for judicial members.

Of the 1,427 complaints received in 2019-20, 613 were related to state government officials and four were against Union ministers and MPs, according to the data.

As many as 30 complaints were received against senior central government officials between April and July 2021, according to the data for 2021-22, updated till July 2021, available on the ombudsman's website.

Out of the 30 complaints, 18 were against group A or B officials and 12 against "chairperson/ member/ officer/ employee in any body/ board/ corporation/ authority/ company/society/trust/autonomous body" wholly or partially financed by the Central government or controlled by it, according to the said.

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