Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Delhi govt vs Centre again: DDA, police under Janlokpal in draft bill

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | New Delhi | Posted: January 29, 2014 2:22 am

AAPM

After staging a two-day protest seeking the suspension of four Delhi Police officers and demanding control over the force, the Aam Aadmi Party government wants to bring the police under the ambit of the Delhi Lokpal.

Government sources said the draft of the Delhi Lokpal Bill also covers the Delhi Development Authority and municipal bodies in the city, and this could cause fresh friction between the Centre and the Delhi government.

Presently, both the Delhi Police and DDA are under the lieutenant-governor’s office. The three municipal corporations and the NDMC have their own elected councils.

The draft is being discussed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet and the government plans to pass it in the first week of February. “It may be fine-tuned and some changes may be made in the coming days,” said an official.

Sources said the draft also gives the government powers to investigate non-government organisations funded directly or indirectly by the government. But it will be limited to looking into misappropriation of funds from the government, they said.

The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and 10 members, with the minimum number of members being six.

The draft has, however, done away with the power to intercept phones, a provision which existed in the original draft of 2011. Investigations, it says, will be conducted by an officer of the rank of assistant commissioner of police or above, sources said.

The Lokpal can punish public servants with imprisonment up to six months or fine or both if they fail to comply with orders. If a complaint is made with malafide intentions, a person can be imprisoned up to one year or fined up to Rs 5 lakh or both.

The punishment for any act of corruption will not be less than six months in jail. “In the rarest of rare cases, the punishment may even be imprisonment of life,” said a source.

If an officer is fined, it will be deducted from the person’s salary, the source added.

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