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Centre Refuses Info on Lokpal, Cites Fiduciary Relationship

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Centre Refuses Info on Lokpal, Cites Fiduciary Relationship

 

The central government has declined to make public details of people who have applied for becoming chairperson and members of anti-corruption body Lokpal, saying the information is held by it in "fiduciary relationship".

 

Replying to an RTI query, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the process of making functional the Lokpal organisation is yet to be completed.

 

"Your application pertain to the persons having fiduciary relationship with the DoPT. Moreover, the process of making the Lokpal organisation functional is yet to be completed. Hence, the information is not being furnished at this stage,' the DoPT said in reply to an RTI application filed by PTI.

 

The DoPT was asked to provide the details of persons who have expressed their desire to be chairperson and members of the Lokpal. The names were also sought of persons chosen to be part of the search committee which is mandates to prepare a panel of persons who may be considered by the Prime Minister- led selection committee for appointment as chairperson and members of the Lokpal.

 

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act provides for establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into corruption charges against public functionaries.

 

The DoPT has given an advertisement seeking applications from suitable persons for becoming chairperson and members of the Lokpal. It has got nominations from various individuals in that regard.

 

The Centre had last month notified the new Lokpal search committee rules, giving it more freedom to recommend names for chairperson and members of the anti-corruption body.

 

The earlier rules, which were formed by the previous UPA government, mandated the search committee to prepare a panel of persons to be considered by the selection committee for appointment as the chairperson and members of the Lokpal, from amongst the list of persons given by the DoPT.

 

The government has also reduced the composition of the search committee to seven members from eight.

 

The committee will now consist of at least seven persons of standing and having special knowledge in anti-corruption, public administration and vigilance among others, the rules said.

 

As per the earlier norms, an eight-member search panel was tasked to draw up a panel of persons for consideration by the selection committee.

 

The Lokpal selection committee has as members the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the 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 other member.

 

The UPA government had chosen eight persons for appointment as chairperson or members of the search committee during a meeting held on February 21, this year.

 

Those selected then included Justice (retd) K T Thomas (Chairperson) and seven members -- Kaki Madhava Rao (former IAS officer), F S Nariman (legal luminary), Prof Meenakshi Gopinath (educationist), M L Kumawat (former Director General of Border Security Force), H K Dua (senior journalist and Rajya Sabha member), S Y Quraishi (former Chief Election Commissioner) and Prof Mrinal Miri (Rajya Sabha member).

 

In a setback to the UPA government, Thomas and Nariman had later refused to be part of the search panel.

 

Read More: Centre Refuses Info on Lokpal, Cites Fiduciary Relationship

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