Govt seeks applications for chairperson, members of Lokpal
Government has invited applications for filing up a post of chairperson and eight posts of members of Lokpal.
New Delhi: Centre today invited applications for appointment to the post of chairperson and members of the anti-graft watchdog, Lokpal. “Government has invited applications for filing up a post of chairperson and eight posts of members of Lokpal. Four posts are reserved for judicial members,” a senior official in the Ministry of Personnel said.
A letter seeking nominations of eligible officers has been sent to the Registrars of Supreme Court and the high courts. “Centre has also written to the Chief Secretaries of state governments,” he added.
The applications, which are to be addressed to the Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), have to reach by February 7, the official said.
President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill on January 1 this year. The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on December 17, 2013, and by Lok Sabha the following day.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, provides for the establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries. It has under its purview even the prime minister, albeit with certain safeguards.
The Act provides for a chairperson and up to eight members for the Lokpal.
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 4, 2011, by V Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
It was passed by the lower house at the fag end of the winter session of 2011. But Rajya Sabha could not approve the Bill as the house was adjourned before a vote could be taken.
Later, a select committee of Rajya Sabha had suggested changes in the Bill, most of which were incorporated and approved by the Union Cabinet. Following the amendments, Rajya Sabha eventually passed the Bill.
The Lokpal legislation had become a bone of contention among the ruling Congress, opposition BJP and civil society groups with each wanting to make changes in the draft.
Officials said that advertisements seeking applications for the post of the Lokpal chairperson and members would also be published soon in the leading dailies.
The Lokpal chairperson can be one who is or has been a Chief Justice of India or is/has been a judge of Supreme Court or an eminent person of impeccable integrity.
A person is eligible for being appointed as a judicial member if he is or has been a judge of Supreme Court or is/has been a Chief Justice of a high court, reads the specification for the post.
A person of impeccable integrity and outstanding ability having special knowledge and expertise of not less than 25 years in matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance, including insurance and banking, law and management can be a non-judicial member of Lokpal, it said.
An individual should be less than 45 years of age on the date of assuming office as the Chairperson or Member.
An applicant must not be a Member of Parliament or a member of the legislature of any state or Union territory. He should not be a person convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude and should also not be a member of any panchayat or municipality, the criteria states.
The chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendations of a selection committee which is to have the prime minister as its head.
The committee will have for its members the Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him and an eminent jurist, who could be nominated by the President or any of the members.
The chairperson and members shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which they assume charge or till they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
The salary of the Lokpal head shall be the same as that of the Chief Justice of India. Other members’ salaries would be on a par with a judge of Supreme Court, it added.