HomeNews

Frequently Asked Questions in respect of Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

DRAFT FAQs WITH PROPOSED REPLIES/INFORMATION, IN RESPECT OF LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTAS ACT, 2013 1. Whether the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 h

BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme-2019- Frequently Asked Questions
Surplus Cell & Departmental Council: FAQ by DoPT
CSD Canteen: Frequently Asked Question

DRAFT FAQs WITH PROPOSED REPLIES/INFORMATION, IN RESPECT OF LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTAS ACT, 2013

1. Whether the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act, 2013 has come into force?
Yes, vide
Gazette Notification No. S.O. 119(E) dated 16-01-2014 the Lokpal and
Lokpal Act, 2013 (1 of 2014 has come into force from the said date.

However, the institution of Lokpal is yet to become functional, since
the Act needs some amendments, inter alia, so as to resolve certain
issues relating to appointment of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal,
etc. in the absence of a Leader of Opposition recognized as such in the
Lok Sabha.  For this purpose, a Bill has been introduced in
Parliament and is currently under consideration of the Department
Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances
and Law and Justice.

2. What are the
Rules and Orders notified under the provisions of the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act, 2013?
The Rules and Orders notified under the Act so far, are as follows:
(a) The Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of
Assets and Liabilities and the Limits for Exemption of Assets in Filing
Returns) Rules, 2014 [notified vide Gazette. Notification No. G.S.R.
501(E) dated 14-07-2014 amended vide Notification No. GSR No. 638(E)
dated 08-09-2014]
(b) The Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of
Assets and Liabilities and the Limits for Exemption of Assets in Filing
Returns) Second Amendment Rules, 2014. [notified vide Gazette
Notification No. G.S.R. 918(E) dated 26-12-2014]
(c) Search Committee (Constitution, Terms and Conditions of appointment of
members and the manner of selection of Panel of Names for appointment of
Chairperson and Members of Lokpal) Rules, 2014. [notified vide Gazette
Notification No. G.S.R. 31(E) dated 17-01-2014].
(d) Search Committee (Constitution, Terms and Conditions of appointment of
members and the manner of selection of Panel of Names for appointment of
Chairperson and Members of Lokpal) Amendment Rules, 2014. [notified vide
Gazette Notification No. G.S.R. 620(E) dated 27-08-2014]
 (e) The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014
[notified vide Gazette Notification No. S.O. 409(E) dated 15-02-2014
with subsequent amendments having been made vide Notifications No. S.O.
1840(E) dated 14-07-2014 No. S.O. 2256(E) dated 08-09-2014 and No. SO.
3272(E) dated 26-12-2014]
The rules and orders as referred to above can be accessed by
clicking on the links above.
3. What is the jurisdiction
of Lokpal in respect of Inquiry?
Please see
Section 14 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (1 of 2014).
4. Whether the
Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is applicable to the employees of State
Governments?
In terms of provisions of section 14 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,
2013 the employees of the State Government are not covered unless they
have served in connection with the affairs of the Union. The
jurisdiction of the Lokpal will extend on the following categories of
employees only after obtaining the consent of the concerned State
Government. [proviso under section 14(1 )(t) refers] inter alia, over
the following categories of public servants referred to in section
14(I)(d) & (e):
 “(d)
any Group ‘A’ or Group ‘B’ officer or equivalent or above, from amongst
the public servants defined in subclauses (i) and (ii) of clause (c) of
section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 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 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;”.

Thus, it may be seen that the employees of the State Governments are not
under the jurisdiction of the Lokpal.

Further, under section 63 of the Act, the States are under an obligation
to establish an institution of Lokayukta, by a law enacted by the State
Legislature, if not already done so, within a period of one year from
the coming into force of the Act. Employees of the State Government are,
inter alia, to be covered under the jurisdiction of the respective
Lokayuktas.

5. Whether the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is applicable on All India Service officers working
under the control of the State Government?
Yes, as they
are public servants within the meaning of clause (o) of sub-section (1)
of section 2 of the Act, read with subsection (I) of section 14 of the
Act.

However, consent of the State Government would be necessary before
Lokpal orders an Inquiry in respect of such an officer if he is employed
in connection with the affairs of a State Government. Please see proviso
after clause (f) of subsection (1) of section 14.

6. Under what provisions of
the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act and Rules, the information in respect of
the Assets and Liabilities is to be furnished by Public Servants.
Section 44
of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 and the Public Servants
(Furnishing of Information and annual return containing declaration of
Assets and
Liabilities by public servants and Limits for Exemption of Assets in
filing Returns) Rules, 2014
notified on 14th July 2014 as last
amended by the amendment Rules notified on 26th December, 2014, the
information in respect of the Assets and Liabilities is required to be
furnished by all Public Servants.

(For links to the rules referred to above please see S. No. 2
above
).

7. What is the
difference between the declaration of assets by public servants under
the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 and the filing of property returns
by public servants under the applicable Conduct Rules?
The provisions relating to filing of assets and liabilities by public
servants are contained in section 44 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,
2013. Under the said section, a public servant is required to furnish to
the competent authority the information relating to —
(a)  the
assets of which he, his spouse and his dependent children are, jointly
or severally, owners or beneficiaries; and
(b) his liabilities and that of his spouse and his dependent children.
As against this, the general requirement as contained in most of the
applicable Conduct Rules for government servants (AIS Conduct Rules, CCS
Conduct Rules, etc.), require the public servant to submit a return,
giving the full particulars regarding :
(a) the immovable property owned by him, or inherited
or acquired by him or held by him on lease or mortgage, either in his
own name or in the name of any member of his family or in the name of
any other person;
(b) shares, debentures, postal Cumulative Time Deposits and cash
including bank deposits inherited by him or similarly owned, acquired or
held by him;
(c) other movable property inherited by him or similarly owned, acquired
or held by him; and
(d) debts and other liabilities incurred by him directly or indirectly.
Further, till such time, the relevant Conduct Rules are aligned with the
Lokpal law, only those categories of Government servants are required to
file their declarations/annual returns under such rules, which are
presently covered under them. Under these rules, public servants are
generally required to submit annual property returns as on the 1″
January of the year, on or before 31st January of that year. The Lokpal
Act [section 44(4)], on the other hand, requires the filing of
annual returns as on the 31st March of the year by each public servant
on or before 31st July of that year. Thus, the requirements of the
Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 and the relevant Conduct Rules are
different in the manner of filing information also.
8. (a)
Whether Government has prescribed any formats for the submission of
information regarding assets and liabilities by public servants under
the Lokpal law?
(b) Where can the forms be accessed?
(c) What are the timelines for furnishing such information specific to
the years 2014 and 2015, as also for subsequent years?
The form and manner in which information regarding assets and
liabilities are required to be furnished by public servants have been
prescribed under the Public Servants (Furnishing of information and
Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and Limits for exemption of
assets in filing Returns) Rules, 2014, as amended from time to time. A
complete set of the formats and clarifications as regards the timelines
for filing of such declaration and returns have been provided in this
Department’s OM No.407/12/2014-AVD-IV-B dated 18.03.2015. The timelines
for annual returns required to be filed for different years is as
follows:
(a) The first return (as on I at August, 2014) under the Lokpal Act should
be filed on or before the 15th October, 2015;
(b) The next annual return under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 for the
year ending 31st March, 2015 should be filed on or before the 15th
October, 2015; and
(c) The annual return for subsequent years as on 31st March every year
should be filed on or before 31st July of that year.
9. To whom is the
information in respect of assets and liabilities required to be
furnished? Is it necessary to forward copies of such information to the
Lokpal or to the DoPT?
Section 44 of
the Act mandates that the information regarding assets and liabilities
is to be submitted by each public servant to his/her own competent
authority (as defined in the Act).There is no requirement for
submission of copies of such information by individual officers to the
Lokpal or to DoPT other than those working in DOPT or Lokpal.
10. Is there
any requirement that all applicable Conduct Rules for different
categories of public servants have to be amended in line with the
provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act? Please provide complete
details.
Section 56 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 reads as under:-
“56. The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding
anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other than
this Act or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any enactment
other than this Act.”.
The above provisions mandate that even if there are any provisions in
any existing law (which, inter alia, includes relevant Conduct Rules
framed under Article 309, etc.) which are inconsistent with the
provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, the provisions of the said
Act shall have effect, notwithstanding such inconsistency. Thus, the
provisions regarding filing of information/annual returns regarding
assets and liabilities by public servants under section 44 of the Lokpal
and Lokayuktas Act shall have effect, notwithstanding anything
inconsistent therewith in the applicable Conduct Rules. In other words,
the filing of information/annual return under the Lokpal law in the
manner prescribed by rules made under that Act, is a mandatory
requirement, and the same cannot be dispensed with under any
circumstances, except by an amendment of the Act itself. Attention in
this regard is also invited to section 57 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas
Act which reads as under:
“57. The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in
derogation of any other law for the time being in force.”.
A combined reading of section 57, along with section 44 of
the Act, would make it clear that the requirement of filing returns
regarding assets and liabilities under the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act is in addition to, and not in derogation/supersession of
the requirement of filing similar returns under the existing Conduct
Rules. In view of this, the requirement of filing of property returns
under the existing Conduct Rules is an independent requirement under the
applicable rules and the same can be dispensed with, only by amending
those rules. In other words, the requirement of filing returns of
assets and liabilities under the applicable Conduct Rules has to
continue, till such time as the provisions of those rules are harmonised
with the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act and the rules framed
thereunder, by carrying out appropriate amendments in them.

Attention is further invited to the Central Government’s notification,
S.O. 3272(E) dated 26-12-2014] further amending the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014, for the purpose of
extending the time limit for carrying out necessary changes in the
relevant rules relating to different services from “three hundred and
sixty days” to “eighteen months”,from the date on which the Act came
into force, i.e., I 6th January, 2014. In view of this, all
Ministries/Departments/cadre authorities are required to complete the
necessary exercise for harmonising the provisions of relevant Conduct
Rules with the provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act and the rules
made thereunder, within this extended time of eighteen months. All
Ministries/Departments and other cadre controlling authorities have been
appraised about this requirement separately through D.O. letters dated
ptember, 2014 and 29th December 2014 issued by this Department. In
view of this, it is incumbent upon all Ministries/ Departments/cadre
controlling authorities to ensure that the relevant conduct rules
relating to services administered/ controlled by them are brought in
harmony with the provisions of the Lokpal Act and rules made thereunder
within this extended time limit of eighteen months.

11.Whether a public
servant/ Government Servant has to submit the Annual Property Return as
required under the Conduct Rules applicable and also furnish the details
of his Assets and liabilities and also his/her spouse and dependent
children under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,2013
Yes, till such
time the applicable Conduct Rules are attuned with the relevant
provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
12. Government proposes to
amend the provisions of section 44 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act? If
so, the details thereof?
Government has
introduced a Bill, namely, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other related
law (Amendment) Bill 2014, in the Lok Sabha on 18th December, 2014. The
said Bill contains, inter alia, a proposal to amend section 44, in order
to provide for a scheme wherein the filing of information by public
servants under the provisions of the section are proposed to be brought
in harmony with the provisions of the respective Acts, Rules or
Regulations, as applicable to different categories of public servants.
It is also proposed to amend sub-section (6) of section 44 in order to
enable the Central Government to prescribe the manner in which
information furnished by public servants of different categories is to
be published, keeping public interest in view, by the respective
competent authorities. The said Bill now stands referred to the
Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public
Grievances, Law and Justice, for consideration and report.
13. In case, the spouse is
also a public servants, whether both, the husband and wife have to file
the returns indicating the assets and liabilities of the other spouse,
under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
Yes.
Sub-section (1) of Section 44 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
makes it mandatory for every public servant to make a declaration of his
assets and liabilities in the manner as provided by or under this Act,
i.e. as per provisions of section 44(2) of the Act. The requirement is
binding on each public servant, irrespective of whether the spouse of
the public servant is also a public servant or not.
14. In case, the spouse of
a public servant, has assets procured by his/her own income, or has
his/her own property, whether, in such a case also, the public servant
has to indicate the assets and liabilities of the spouse in the returns
under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
Yes. Clauses
(a) and (b) of Sub — section (2) of Section 44 of the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act,2013 does not make any exception in respect of assets
procured by the spouse of the public servant by his/her own income.
15. Whether the assets and
liabilities of spouse of a public servant, who is an employee of a
private company/ organisation, are to be reflected in the return of the
assets and liabilities to be filed by the public servant, under the
provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
Yes.
Clauses (a) and (b) of Sub — section (2) of Section 44 of the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act,2013 does not make any exception for not not furnishing
the declaration, in respect of assets procured by the spouse of the
public servant by his/her own income.
16. Whether a public
servant, who has a share in an undivided property of Hindu Undivided
Family, is required to furnish such information and in what manner?
Yes. Please see
the Note 2 of APPENDIX—I of the Public Servants (Furnishing of
Information and annual return containing declaration of assets and
liabilities by public servants and Limits for Exemption of Assets in
filing Returns) Rules, 2014 [Notification No. G.S.R. 501(E) dated
14-07-2014]. It states that “if a public servant is a member of Hindu
Undivided Family with co-parcenary rights in the properties of the
family either as a “Karta” or as a member, he should indicate in the
return in Form No. III the value of his share in such property.”
The same principle will also have to be followed in respect of movable
property belonging to a HUF.
17. In what manner the
value of his share in the undivided property of Hindu Undivided Family,
is to be indicated by a public servant, particularly if it is not
possible to indicate the exact value his share?
The approximate
value of his share may be indicated with explanatory note wherever
necessary, if it is not possible to indicate the exact value of his
share
18.What happens if a public
servant fails to furnish information in respect of his assets
If a public
servant willfully or for the reasons which are not justifiable, fails to
declare his assets or gives misleading information in respect of such
assets and is found to be possession of assets not disclosed or in
respect of which misleading information was furnished, then, such assets
shall, unless otherwise proved, be presumed to belong to the public
servant and shall be presumed to be assets acquired by corrupt means.

[Please see section 45 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013]

19. Whether the
Information furnished by the public servants will be put in public
domain?
Yes. As per provision of Section 44(6) of the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
“The Competent authority in respect of each Ministry or Department shall
ensure that all such statements are published on web site of such
Ministry or Department by 31st August of that year.”

Disclaimer: The above clarifications are for general information and guidance and do not interpret legal provisions of the Act nor tender any legal opinion on issues.

Source: www.persmin.nic.in
[http://documents.doptcirculars.nic.in/D2/D02ser/FAQ-29042015.pdf]

Stay connected with us via Facebook, Google+ or Email Subscription.

Subscribe to Central Government Employee News & Tools by Email [Click Here]
Follow us: Twitter [click here] | Facebook [click here] Google+ [click here]
Admin

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0