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Government to soon appoint Lokpal chairperson, members

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Government has set the ball rolling for appointment of chairperson and eight members of Lokpal by inviting applications for the posts.

It has also decided to expedite passage of four pending anti-corruption legislations in Parliament as part of the resolve to give the nation an effective anti-corruption framework, the Ministry of Personnel today said.

Out of eight members in the Lokpal, four posts are of judicial members and rest are for non-judicial ones. Fifty per cent of members of Lok Pal shall be from amongst Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Other Backward Class (OBC), minorities and women.

These vacancies have been circulated to the Registrar of Supreme Court, Registrars of High Courts, Chief Secretaries of state governments and secretaries in the central government departments and ministries, calling for nomination of eligible candidates by Feb 7, 2014.

“The new enactment is indicative of the resolve of the Parliament and the government to give to the nation an effective anti-corruption framework,” it said.

The historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 passed by Parliament — December 17, 2013 in Rajya Sabha and December 18, 2013 in Lok Sabha– paves the way for setting up of the institution of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states within one year of coming into force of the Act.

The new law provides for a mechanism for dealing with complaints of corruption against public functionaries, including those in high places.

“Another significant feature of the Act is that it has taken its present shape after repeated consultations with all stake holders including civil society.

“The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act is perhaps the only legislation in the history of independent India, which has been so widely discussed, both inside and outside Parliament and has, thus generated so much awareness in the public mind about the need to have an effective institution of Lokpal to tackle corruption,” the release said.

Government has decided to expedite four pending anti-corruption legislations–Whistle-blowers Protection Bill, 2011, Foreign Bribery Bill and Private Sector Corruption, Amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act and Right to Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services Bill in the Parliament.

As per Whistle-blowers Protection Bill, 2011, persons who report corruption or wilful misuse of power or discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant need statutory protection.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 27, 2011 and it is now pending in the Rajya Sabha.

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