‘Judiciary out, Grp A-B staff included in Lokpal’



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: As the Parliamentary standing committee examining the Lokpal Bill began finalising its report to be submitted in the Parliament, reports have said that the panel has decided to keep the judiciary out of the anti-corruption ombudsman’s purview.

It has also been learnt that the panel has favoured the inclusion of Central government’s Group B staff as well in the Lokpal’s ambit, as against the original proposal of including just the 85,000-odd Group A staff. Group B services roughly included 1.7 lakh staff.

Further, the Committee is believed to have decided that the Lokpal Bill would also provide for Lokayuktas in states, as demanded by the Anna Hazare-led civil society group.

At yesterday’s meeting, the panel members also appeared towards recommending lowering punishment for filing frivolous complaints against public servants with the proposed Lokpal. Many members were learnt to have favoured treating such complaints on the lines of contempt of court proceedings.

While the Lokpal Bill seeks to have provision of imprisonment of not less than two years for persons filing false or frivolous complaints, it also seeks to impose a fine of Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh against such persons.

But committee members were understood to have supported imprisonment of up to six months and a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh on the lines of the contempt of court proceedings.

The same committee had recommended reducing the punishment for the Whistleblowers Bill and the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill on frivolous and false complaints.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal has expressed concern over keeping the judiciary out of Lokpal's ambit.

He, however, welcomed the reported decision to bring Group B government staff under Lokpal's ambit. Group C and D staff should also be brought under Lokpal's purview as they are the ones with whom the common man deals on a daily basis, he demanded.