Jan Lokpal to have power to probe Central officials
The Central and Delhi governments may be headed for a showdown with the AAP’s Jan Lokpal bill giving the proposed ombudsman the power to probe even Central government officials.
According to the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill 2015, the Jan Lokpal may proceed to inquire or investigate into the allegation of “corruption” occurring in the national capital territory of Delhi” and a Delhi minister held this meant any Central government functionary.
Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra said that Lokpal will have the power to investigate the prime minister if he committed corruption in Delhi. “The Jan Lokpal proposed by us will be able to probe against anyone who has done corruption in the national capital. It does not matter whether he is central government official or state government official,” Mishra said.
A source said that the bill is likely to be tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Monday. Other measures of the proposed bill include the Chief Minister also coming under the purview of the ombudsman. However, for filing false complaints with Jan Lokpal, there will be “rigorous imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh or with both”. The panel responsible for selecting Jan Lokpal will consist of the Delhi high court’s chief justice, Delhi Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly and the Speaker.
The Bill says that the Lieutenant Governor will appoint a three-member body having a chairperson and two members to be known as the Jan Lokpal.
The ombudsman will have a five-year term. The bill says that Jan Lokpal may, for the purpose of conducting any inquiry or investigation, utilise the services of any officer or organisation or investigation agency of the central government or any other state or Union Territory governments.