Punjab cabinet approves Lokayukta Bill for introduction in ongoing Assembly session; legislation covers all public functionaries including CM

Bill seeks to replace the existing Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 and will cover all public functionaries, including the chief minister

Press Trust of India March 02, 2020 18:17:30 IST
Punjab cabinet approves Lokayukta Bill for introduction in ongoing Assembly session; legislation covers all public functionaries including CM
  • Punjab cabinet approved Lokayukta Bill 2020 for passage in ongoing session of legislative assembly

  • Bill seeks to replace the existing Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 and will cover all public functionaries, including the chief minister

  • However, the prosecution of the chief minister, ministers and MLAs would require the approval of the 2/3rd members of the House

Chandigarh: The state cabinet on Monday approved the Punjab Lokayukta Bill 2020 for passage in the ongoing session of the legislative assembly.

Punjab cabinet approves Lokayukta Bill for introduction in ongoing Assembly session legislation covers all public functionaries including CM

File image of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. ANI

The Bill seeks to replace the existing Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 and will cover all public functionaries, including the chief minister.

However, the prosecution of the chief minister, ministers and MLAs would require the approval of the 2/3rd members of the House, an official spokesperson said.

"The cabinet decision repeals the existing Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 and the new legislation will cover all levels of public functionaries, up to the chief minister, ministers and officials of all public offices with the aim of checking corruption," he said.

"The Lokayukta shall have all powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. It will also provide for prosecution in case of a false complaint," he added.

The legislation bars a parallel probe into a complaint against any officer/public functionary if an inquiry is being conducted into the matter by the lokayukta, he said.

He, however, said the lokayukta will not have the authority to conduct a parallel inquiry of the matter already under investigation by the government.

"All sanctions by the assembly, whether or not permission to prosecute is granted, will be binding on the lokayukta," the spokesman said.

The four member anti-corruption watchdog shall have a chairperson, who is or has been a judge of the High Court or the Supreme Court.

At least one member shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes or the Backward Classes, minorities, or women, all of whom shall be qualified personnel with impeccable reputation.

The chairperson and members of the body will be appointed by the governor on recommendation of a selection committee, comprising the chief minister as the chairperson, Speaker of the state assembly, Leader of the Opposition, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and an eminent jurist nominated by the Punjab government.

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