‘Lokpal equipped to attach property of corrupt’
New Delhi: The proposed Lokpal will have
powers to attach property of public servants accused of
corruption and its investigating officers will have rights
enjoyed by police like conducting searches, the government
The Lokpal and investigating officers authorised by it
will have powers to attach property if the ombudsman has
reason to believe that somebody is in possession of any
proceeds of corruption. It can "provisionally" attach property
for a period of 90 days.
According to the government draft if "any person is in
possession of any proceeds of corruption, such person is
accused of having committed an offence relating to corruption
and such proceeds of offence are likely to be concealed,
transferred or dealt with any manner which may result in
frustrating any proceedings relating to confiscation of such
proceeds of offence...provisionally attach such property for a
period not exceeding 90 days..."
However, the Lokpal will have to inform the Special
Court about the attachment and if the latter feels that the
attached property was acquired through corrupt means, then it
can confirm the attachment till completion of the proceedings.
If the public servant is convicted of corruption, the
proceeds relatable to the offence under the Prevention of
Corruption Act shall be confiscated and vest in the Central
Government "free from any encumbrance or leasehold interest
excluding any debt due to any bank or financial institution".
The government draft also says the Lokpal can
authorise any officer of its investigation wing to search for
and seize any document which shall be useful or relevant to
any investigation conducted by it.
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