Nearly three months have passed since the country received its first Lokpal, but the anti-corruption agency continues to function from the second floor of the Hotel Ashok in New Delhi without an office to call its own.
Of the 11 rooms on the floor, Chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and eight other members have set up offices in nine while the remaining two are used by administrative officials of the Lokpal Secretariat. Sources said they have approached the government for an exclusive office, but it is yet to finalise one.
Work, however, is going on at full swing. The Lokpal has received 560 cases from the public until now, of which 310 have been disposed of on grounds of frivolity. "Of the remaining 250 cases, 160 have been scrutinised. A full bench of the Lokpal, consisting of the chairman and the remaining ministers, will convene soon to decide these cases," sources told NDTV.
However, a senior Lokpal official claimed that none of the complaints received so far were about corrupt practices by ministers in the present or previous governments. "They mostly concern civil disputes, pension and service matters, among others," he added.
He said copies of complaints received from the public are circulated among all the eight members, and only after proper scrutiny are they are brought before the full bench for a final decision.
The Lokpal secretariat received its first-ever complaint 11 days before President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Justice Ghose -- a former Supreme Court judge -- on March 23.