New Delhi: A separate division - to be headed by a Director-level officer - has been formed by the outgoing government to deal with all works related to the anti- corruption watchdog, Lokpal.
Officials in the Personnel Ministry, which acts as the nodal department to provide administrative support to the Lokpal, said that the separate unit will help streamline the activities related to the working of the anti-corruption body, including handling of RTI applications and appeals.
The ministry has appointed Anil Kumar V Patil as Director of the Lokpal Division recently, they said.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (also known as Lokpal) provides for the establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into corruption charges against public functionaries.
The Centre has already received nominations from various individuals for becoming chairperson and members of these bodies.
The outgoing UPA government, however, could not appoint the chairperson and members of the much-touted Lokpal, apparently due to objections raised by BJP leaders on the selection process for the same.
The UPA government had in February this year hurriedly formed an eight-member search committee which was mandated to draw up a panel of persons for consideration by the Prime Minister-led Selection Committee for appointment of chairperson and members of the Lokpal.
Those who been selected for the search panel included Justice (retd) KT Thomas (as chairperson) and seven members -- Kaki Madhava Rao (former IAS officer), FS Nariman (legal luminary), Prof Meenakshi Gopinath (educationist), ML Kumawat (former Director General of Border Security Force), HK Dua (senior journalist and Rajya Sabha member), SY Quraishi (former Chief Election Commissioner) and Prof Mrinal Miri (Rajya Sabha member).
But, in a setback to the UPA government, Thomas and Nariman had refused to be part of the search panel.