Anti-Corruption Body Receives Over 1,700 Complaints This Year So Far

In reply to an RTI query, the office of Lokpal said that out of the total complaints received during 2022-23 (till August 21, 2022), 134 were in the prescribed format and 1,585 were in non-format.

Anti-Corruption Body Receives Over 1,700 Complaints This Year So Far

The Lokpal had received 5,680 complaints during 2021-22 (Representational)

New Delhi:

Anti-graft ombudsman Lokpal has got 1,719 corruption complaints so far this year, of which 136 were registered for conducting inquiry, according to an official data.

In reply to an RTI query, the office of Lokpal said that out of the total complaints received during 2022-23 (till August 21, 2022), 134 were in the prescribed format and 1,585 were in non-format.

A total of 133 complaints received in the format -- prescribed for filing of graft complaints -- were registered and 83 of them were disposed and 50 were pending (of these 12 were pending due to inquiry or investigation), it said.

Of the non-formatted complaints, only three of them were registered, the office of Lokpal said in reply to the RTI application filed by this PTI journalist.

A total of 1,635 graft complaints, out of the 1,719 received in 2022-23, were pending, it said.

The central government had in March 2020 notified the Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, which prescribe the format to file a complaint.

The Lokpal had last month decided to accept corruption complaints only if they are filed in the prescribed format, which is available on its website. 

The Lokpal had received 5,680 complaints during 2021-22 -- of these 169 were under format and 5,511 were in non-format category.

During 2020-21, 2,355 corruption complaints were received by the Lokpal -- 131 in format and 2,224 in non-format.

The Lokpal has not approved any prosecution of people accused of graft since its inception nearly three years ago.

"Nil" was the response from the office of Lokpal when asked to provide details of prosecution approved by it.

The Lokpal is the apex body to inquire and investigate graft complaints against public functionaries. It began functioning with the appointment of its chairperson and members on March 27, 2019.

"The post of Director of Inquiry and Director of Prosecution is vacant. Further, at present prosecution and inquiry wings have not been constituted and the work is being managed with the available workforce with the help of CBI and CVC," it said, when asked to provide details on the constitution of the two crucial wings to ensure punishment for the corrupt.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, states that the Lokpal shall constitute a prosecution wing headed by the director of prosecution for the purpose of prosecution of public servants.

It mandates that "there shall be a Director of Inquiry and a Director of Prosecution not below the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India or equivalent, who shall be appointed by the chairperson from a panel of names sent by the central government".

The Director of Prosecution shall, after having been so directed by the Lokpal, file a case in accordance with the findings of investigation report, before the special court and take all necessary steps in respect of the prosecution of public servants in relation to any offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the law says.

The Lokpal shall also constitute an inquiry wing headed by the Director of Inquiry for the purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, it says.

"Provided that till such time the Inquiry Wing is constituted by the Lokpal, the central government shall make available such number of officers and other staff from its ministries or departments, as may be required by the Lokpal, for conducting preliminary inquiries under this Act," the law read.

The Lokpal is at present working without its regular chief since May 27 this year.

Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty, a judicial member of Lokpal, has been holding the additional charge of chairperson after Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose completed his term.

The Lokpal is headed by a chairperson and can have eight members -- four judicial and rest non-judicial.

Two posts of judicial members have also been lying vacant for over two years. PTI AKV AKV NB NB


 

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