Lokpal

Jurisdiction in Respect of Inquiry by Lokpal

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013

Jurisdiction in Respect of Inquiry

14. Jurisdiction of Lokpal to include Prime Minister, Ministers, members of Parliament, Groups A, B, C and D officers and officials of Central Government. – (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Lokpal shall inquire or cause an inquiry to be conducted into any matter involved in, or arising from, or connected with, any allegation of corruption made in a complaint in respect of the following, namely :-
(a) any person who is or has been a Prime Minister :

Provided that the Lokpal shall not inquire into any matter involved in, or arising from, or connected with, any such allegation of corruption against the Prime Minister, –

(i) in so far as it relates to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space;

(ii) unless a full bench of the Lokpal consisting of its Chairperson and all Members considers the initiation of inquiry and at least two-thirds of its Members approves of such inquiry:

Provided further that any such inquiry shall be held in camera and if the Lokpal comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry shall not be published or made available to anyone;

(b) any person who is or has been a Minister of the Union;

(c) any person who is or has been a member of either House of Parliament;

(d) any Group ‘A’ or Group ‘B’ officer or equivalent or above, from amongst the public servants defined in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) of clause (c) of section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988) when serving or who has served, in connection with the affairs of the Union;

(e) any Group ‘C’ or Group ‘D’ official or equivalent, from amongst the public servants defined in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) of clause (c) of section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988) when serving or who has served in connection with the affairs of the Union subject to the provision of sub-section (1) of section 20;

(f) any person who is or has been a chairperson or member or officer or employee in any body or Board or corporation or authority or company or society or trust or autonomous body (by whatever name called) established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly financed by the Central Government or controlled by it :

Provided that in respect of such officers referred to in clause (d) who have served in connection with the affairs of the Union or in any body or Board or corporation or authority or company or society or trust or autonomous body referred to in clause (e) but are working in connection with the affairs of the State or in any body or Board or corporation or authority or company or society or trust or autonomous body (by whatever name called) established by an Act of the State Legislature or wholly or partly financed by the State Government or controlled by it, the Lokpal and the officers of its Inquiry Wing or Prosecution Wing shall have jurisdiction under this Act in respect of such officers only after obtaining the consent of the concerned State Government;

(g) any person who is or has been a director, manager, secretary or other officer of every other society or association of persons or trust (whether registered under any law for the time being in force or not), by whatever name called, wholly or partly financed by the Government and the annual income of which exceeds such amount as the Central Government may, by notification, specify;

(h) any person who is or has been a director, manager, secretary or other officer of every other society or association of persons or trust (whether registered under any law for the time being in force or not) in receipt of any donation from any foreign source under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (42 of 2010) in excess of ten lakh rupees in a year or such higher amount as the Central Government may, by notification, specify.

Explanation. – For the purpose of clauses (f) and (g), it is hereby clarified that any entity or institution, by whatever name called, corporate, society, trust, association of persons, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership (whether registered under any law for the time being in force or not), shall be the entities covered in those clauses :
Provided that any person referred to in this clause shall be deemed to be a public servant under clause (c) of section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988) and the provisions of that Act shall apply accordingly.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Lokpal shall not inquire into any matter involved in, or arising from, or connected with, any such allegation of corruption against any member of either House of Parliament in respect of anything said or a vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof covered under the provisions contained in clause (2) of article 105 of the Constitution.

(3) The Lokpal may inquire into any act or conduct of any person other than those referred to in sub-section (1), if such person is involved in the act of abetting, bribe giving or bribe taking or conspiracy relating to any allegation of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988) against a person referred to in sub-section (1) :

Provided that no action under this section shall be taken in case of a person serving in connection with the affairs of a State, without the consent of the State Government.
(4) No matter in respect of which a complaint has been made to the Lokpal under this Act, shall be referred for inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 (60 of 1952).

Explanation. – For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that a complaint under this Act shall only relate to a period during which the public servant was holding or serving in that capacity.

15. Matters pending before any court or committee or authority for inquiry not. – In case any matter or proceeding related to allegation of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988) has been pending before any court or committee of either House of Parliament or before any other authority prior to commencement of this Act or prior to commencement of any inquiry after the commencement of this Act, such matter or proceeding shall be continued before such court, committee or authority.

16. Constitution of benches of Lokpal. – (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, –
(a) the jurisdiction of the Lokpal may be exercised by benches thereof;

(b) a bench may be constituted by the Chairperson with two or more Members as the Chairperson may deem fit;

(c) every bench shall ordinarily consist of at least one Judicial Member;

(d) where a bench consists of the Chairperson, such bench shall be presided over by the Chairperson;

(e) where a bench consists of a Judicial Member, and a non-Judicial Member, not being the Chairperson, such bench shall be presided over by the Judicial Member;

(f) the benches of the Lokpal shall ordinarily sit at New Delhi and at such other places as the Lokpal may, by regulations, specify.

(2) The Lokpal shall notify the areas in relation to which each bench of the Lokpal may exercise jurisdiction.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), the Chairperson shall have the power to constitute or reconstitute benches from time to time.

(4) If at any stage of the hearing of any case or matter it appears to the Chairperson or a Member that the case or matter is of such nature that it ought to be heard by a bench consisting of three or more Members, the case or matter may be transferred by the Chairperson or, as the case may be, referred to him for transfer, to such bench as the Chairperson may deem fit.

17. Distribution of business amongst benches. – Where benches are constituted, the Chairperson may, from time to time, by notification, make provisions as to the distribution of the business of the Lokpal amongst the benches and also provide for the matters which may be dealt with by each bench.

18. Power of Chairperson to transfer cases. – On an application for transfer made by the complainant or the public servant, the Chairperson, after giving an opportunity of being heard to the complainant or the public servant, as the case may be, may transfer any case pending before one bench for disposal to any other bench.

19. Decision to be by majority. – If the Members of a bench consisting of an even number of Members differ in opinion on any point, they shall state the point or points on which they differ, and make a reference to the Chairperson who shall either hear the point or points himself or refer the case for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other Members of the Lokpal and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Members of the Lokpal who have heard the case, including those who first heard it.

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