Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brazil's Jose Graziano da Silva to head UN body FAO

Jose Graziano da Silva, the former Brazilian Food Security Minister, will be the eighth Director General (DG) of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations said in a statement.

Graziano da Silva is the first person from Latin America to head the United Nation's (UN) global body on agriculture.
"Jose Graziano da Silva, who has served as a senior regional official for FAO since 2006, will take up the post of DG on January 1 next year after beating five other candidates during voting today at the agency's (FAO's) headquarters in Rome," the UN statement said.
Da Silva received 92 votes from 180 votes cast by FAO member states during the second round of balloting, narrowly defeating Miguel Angel Moratinos Cuyaube, a former foreign minister of Spain, it said.
The other candidates -- Franz Fischler (Austria), Indroyono Soesilo (Indonesia), Mohammad Saeid Noori Naeini (Iran) and Abdul Latif Rashid (Iraq) -- withdrew from the contest after receiving fewer votes during the first round of balloting, it added.
Graziano da Silva has pledged to work towards eradicating hunger, promoting a shift to sustainable food production and ensuring greater fairness in global food management, among other issues.
"My track record shows that I can bring to the organisation the leadership that it needs. I have spent my whole working life dealing with issues related to agriculture, food security and sustainable development that are central to FAO's mandate," he said.
Graziano da Silva's term will expire on 31st July 2015, but he will be eligible to run for a second, four-year term.
He succeeds Jacques Diouf, who has served as FAO Director-General since 1994.

France's Christine Lagarde named first woman IMF chief

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was elected as the first woman head of the International Monetary Fund, succeeding Dominique Strauss Kahn, who resigned last month after being arrested on rape charges.

Lagarde, 55, is the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution's inception in 1944. "The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF Managing Director and Madame Chairman of the Executive Board for a five-year term starting on July 5, 2011," an official IMF announcement said.
The IMF said the selection of Lagarde by the 24-member Executive Board, representing the IMF's 187 member countries, brings to conclusion the selection process initiated by the Executive Board on May 20.
During the process the Board met with Agustin Carstens of Mexico and Lagarde the two aspirants for the post. She also won support from Europe, China and Russia.
"Based on the candidate profile that had been established, the Executive Board, after considering all relevant information on the candidacies, proceeded to select Lagarde by consensus. The Executive Board looks forward to Ms Lagarde effectively leading the International Monetary Fund," it said.
"The IMF has served its 187 member countries well during the global economic and financial crisis, transforming itself in many positive ways. I will make it my overriding goal that our institution continues to serve its entire membership with the same focus and the same spirit," said Lagarde.
Lagarde said she was honoured and delighted by her appointment. "I am deeply honored by the trust placed in me by the Executive Board. I would like to thank the Fund's global membership warmly for the broad-based support I have received. I would also like to express my respect and esteem for my colleague and friend, Agustn Carstens," she said in her first official statement.
Lagarde also has had an extensive and noteworthy career as an anti-trust and labour lawyer, serving as a partner with the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where the partnership elected her as chairman in October 1999. She held the top post at the firm until June 2005 when she was named to her initial ministerial post in France.
Lagarde has degrees from Institute of Political Studies (IEP) and from the Law School of Paris X University, where she also lectured prior to joining Baker & McKenzie in 1981.
She takes over at a tumultuous time when emerging nations want a greater voice at the IMF and the organisation's reputation has been tarred by a scandal involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Strauss-Kahn resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper.

Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 Begins

The 1st ever post independence Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 today began from the Sankhola village of Hazemara block in West Tripura District. It is a door-to-door census in the entire country.
                Launching the Census Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 Shri B.K.Sinha Secretary, M/o Rural Development ,Govt. of India said this gigantic exercise  will  pave the way to identify the households living below the poverty line in rural and urban areas of the country. The entire process will be completed by end of 2011-12. The results relating to the identification of poor households would be utilized in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17). The Registrar General of India  and Chief Commissioner of Census Shri C. Chandramouli and  Chief Secretary Govt. of Tripura  Shri S.K. Panda  was also present on the occasion.

He said  The BPL Census will be conducted by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations with the technical and financial support of the Ministry of Rural Development. The Census would be based on a self-declaration model of the respondents. The information would be verified and approved by the Gram Sabha. Procedure for filing claims and objections and its disposal will be prescribed separately by the Ministry. The Ministry will also provide detailed guidelines for conducting survey and finalization of BPL list. 
Low cost handheld device will be used for collection of data in Socio Economic Census 2011.  It would reduce the time required in processing the data after collection in the field.

                Bharat Electronic Ltd. (BEL) is involved in the production of this device on large scale. It is proposed to use this device, produced by BEL, in Socio Economic Census 2011.

            National Informatics Centre (NIC) will develop the Management of Information System (MIS) for the management of the database of Socio Economic Census 2011 and to facilitate its subsequent use by the MORD, other ministries and State Governments for their own requirements.
It may be noted that for the  Identification of BPL (below poverty line) Households in Rural Areas the suggestions of the Expert Group chaired by Dr NC Saxena and a Pilot Study carried out in 29 States/Union Territories have been the basis of the methodology to conduct the Census in the rural areas.

                It has been decided to include (a) households without shelter, (b) destitutes/living on alms, (c) manual scavengers, (d) Primitive Tribal Groups, and (e) legally released bonded labourers, in the BPL list. These households will have the highest priority for inclusion in the BPL list.

                The remaining households will be identified as poor from the angle of deprivation to which they are subjected to. The deprivation of the households is assessed from the following deprivation indicators.
·                            Households with only one room with  kucha walls and kucha roof;
·                            Households with no adult member between age 16 to 59;
·                            Female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59;
·                            Households with any disabled member and no able bodied adult member;
·                            SC/ST households;
·                            Households with no literate adult above 25 years;
·                            Landless households deriving the major part of their income from manual casual labour;

                For the households eligible for ranking under deprivation indicators as per paragraph, a deprivation score would be derived for each household by adding up the number of deprivations satisfied by the household. This score will vary from a minimum 0 to maximum 7. The order of priority for inclusion of households in the BPL list would be from largest number of deprivations to smallest number of deprivations. For the purpose of coverage income re-distributive anti-poverty programmes and welfare schemes of the Government, households eligible for compulsory inclusion will have highest priority, followed by households with higher deprivation scores. For such welfare programme where universal coverage is not permissible, the system would be capable of generating a ranking of priority household till poverty caps prescribed by the Planning Commission are attained. The deprivation cut-off will be chosen in such a manner that the total percentage of households will be less than or equal to the cut-off poverty ratio prescribed by the Planning Commission. The difference in the number of households prescribed by Planning Commission and arrived at by deprivation cut-off method, if any, will be identified by permitting households with one less deprivation than deprivation cut-off from Panchayats which have highest percentage of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribe population in the State arranged seriatim in decreasing order of percentage of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribe population.
Several households would be automatically excluded from the BPL list. These are:
·                                      Households owning Motorized Two/Three/Four Wheelers/Fishing boats (which require registration);
·                                      Households owning mechanized Three/Four wheeler agricultural equipments such as tractors, harvesters etc;
·                                      Households having Kisan Credit Card with the credit limit of Rs.50,000 and above;
·                                      Households with any member as Government Employee: gazetted and non-gazetted employees of Centre government, State government, Public Sector Undertakings, Government-aided autonomous bodies and local bodies. This will exclude incentive and other honorarium based workers like ASHA, Anganwadi workers etc;
·                                      Households with Enterprises registered with the Government for any purpose: any non agricultural enterprise registered with the Central or State Governments;
·                                      Households with any member in the family earning more than Rs. 10,000 p.m.;
·                                      Households paying income tax or professional tax;
·                                      Households with three or more rooms with pucca walls and pucca roof;
·                                      Households owning Refrigerator;
·                                      Households owning landline phones;
·                                      Households owning  2.5 acres or more irrigated land with at least one irrigation equipment such as diesel/ electric operated borewell/ tubewell;
·                                      5 acres or more land irrigated for two or more crop seasons;
·                                      Households owning 7.5 acres or more  land with at least one irrigation equipment such as diesel/ electric operated borewell / tubewell;

Monday, June 27, 2011

Salman Khan starrer "Dabangg", last year's biggest Bollywood hit, was adjudged the best film at the glittering 12th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards at toronto. The action-comedy bagged seven awards.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was named the best male actor for his performance as an asperger patient in Karan Johar's "My Name Is Khan", while Anushka Sharma received the best female actor for her lively role of a wedding planner in "Band Baaja Baraat".
The city's Roger's Centre erupted in cheers June 25, when Shah Rukh received the award from Anil Kapoor and Hollywood actress Hillary Swank who greeted the audience with a "Namaste". 

List of other winners of the 12th IIFA Awards 2011 Winners:

Best Film - Dabangg
Best Debut - Sonakshi Sinha - Dabangg
Best screenply - Abhinav Kashyap & Dilip Shukla - Dabangg
Best Playback Female Singar - Mamta sarma - Dabangg(Munni)
Best Playback Male Singar - rahat fateh ali khan - Dabangg(tere mast mast do nain)
Best performance in Negative role - Sonu sood - dabangg
Best music director - Sajid-Wajid and Lalit Pandit - Dabangg
Best Costume Designing - Niharika Khan - Band Baaja Baaraat
Best Action - S. Vijayan - Dabangg
Best Makeup - Banu (For Rajnikant) - Robot
Best Background Score - Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy - My Name Is Khan
Best Song Recording - Vijay Dayal and Ainvayi Ainvayi - Band Baaja Baaraat
Best Choreography Award - Farah Khan - Munni Badnam for Dabangg
Best Editing - Namrata Rao - Band Baaja Baaraat
Best Sound Recording - Pritam Das - Love, Sex Aur Dhokha
Best Sound Re-recording - Leslie Fernandes - Dabangg
Best Cinematography - Sudeep Chatterjee - Guzaarish
Best Art Direction - Sabu Cyril - Robot
Best Special Effects -Indian Artists - Robot

China tests Beijing-Shanghai bullet train

Builders of China’s fast-growing bullet train network conducted a test run of its showcase Beijing-to-Shanghai line on June 27 amid controversy over the prestige project’s high cost.

A train carrying government officials and managers of the companies that built the line and reporters left Beijing for the 1,318-km trip. It was due to take about five hours, or half the time of conventional rail.
The Communist government is building thousands of km of high-speed rail to link together China’s far-flung regions and show off its rising wealth and technological prowess.
The government announced in April the top speed of the fastest lines would be reduced from 350 kph (220 mph) to 300 kph (190 mph) and ticket prices would be cut.
Official plans call for the network to expand to 13,000 km of track this year and 16,000 km by 2020.
China’s trains are based on Japanese, French and German technology but its manufacturers are trying to sell to Latin America and the Middle East. That has prompted complaints Beijing is violating the spirit of licenses with foreign providers by reselling technology that was meant to be used only in China.
June 27 test run comes ahead of celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party on July 1.

EU lifts all sanctions against Ivorian firms

European Union sanctions against Ivory Coast firms are to be lifted completely, the bloc announced on June 27.
Sanctions on firms loyal to former leader Laurent Gbagbo were imposed earlier this year to pressure him to step down and make way for Alassane Outtara.
The asset freeze measures were first eased in April, after Gbagbo was arrested by pro-Outtara forces, clearing the way for the president to be sworn in.
On June 27, the EU extended the decision to the Cote d’Ivoire Association of Natural Rubber Producers (APROCANCI), the National Electricity Management (SOGEPE) and Ivorian Radio and Television (RTI).
These were “the last three entities subject to an EU assets freeze,” the bloc said. The decision is set to become effective later on Monday, when it is due to be published in the EU’s official journal.
An EU travel ban and asset freeze against Gbagbo, his wife and dozens of his supporters remains effective.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Western Ghats to be inscribed in world heritage list next year

The serial sites of Western Ghats will be inscribed in the World Heritage List next year.
The 36th session of the World Heritage Committee of Unesco in Bangkok will make the announcement, V.B. Mathur, Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, told .
Though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) wanted the inscription to be postponed for three years at the current session being held in Paris, the Committee decided to inscribe the 39 serial sites of the Ghats next year, said Dr. Mathur, who is part of the Indian delegation canvassing for the heritage status.
Describing the development as a major step, Dr. Mathur said 18 nations of the 21-member committee supported India. The Indian delegation was also informed that there was no need for new proposals for the Ghats. The Committee has also decided not to send any new IUCN mission to India to inspect the serial sites.
The Committee banks on the technical evaluation report of the IUCN in deciding the status of the sites nominated by the countries. A two-member committee visited the serial sites last year as part of the assessment process.
It has sought additional information regarding the management of the serial sites and given directions to make the management system more effective. The Committee said it was waiting for the recommendations of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the conservation and protection of the Ghats. All the information sought by the Committee would be mailed to them shortly, Dr. Mathur said.
On the biodiversity impact of some dams in the Ghats region, the Indian delegation said they were built long ago and had no major environmental impacts. The IUCN also appreciated the high biodiversity value of the Ghats sites and its universal importance, he said.
Incidentally, the committee removed Assam's Manas Wildlife Sanctuary from the ‘world heritage in danger' list after taking into account the significant improvements made for its preservation. The sanctuary was inscribed on the danger list in 1992, seven years after Unesco declared it a world heritage site.

NY becomes 6th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage

After days of contentious negotiations and last-minute reversals by two Republican senators, New York became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly identical bill here two years ago.
Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York by late July after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his bill into law just before midnight June 24.
At New York City’s Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village pub that spawned the gay rights movement on a June night in 1969, Scott Redstone watched New York sign the historic same-sex marriage law with his partner of 29 years, and popped the question.
New York becomes the sixth state where gay couples can wed, doubling the number of Americans living in a state with legal gay marriage.
Legal challenges of the law and political challenges aimed at the four Republicans who supported gay marriage in the 33-29 vote are expected. Republican senators endured several marathon sessions, combing through several standard but complex bills this week, before taking up the same-sex marriage bill.
The bill came to the floor for a vote after an agreement was reached on more protections for religious groups that oppose gay marriage and feared discrimination lawsuits.
“State legislators should not decide society-shaping issues,” said the Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. He said his organization would work in next year’s elections to defeat lawmakers who voted for the measure.
The big win for gay rights advocates is expected to galvanize the movement around the country after an almost identical bill was defeated here in 2009 and similar measures failed in 2010 in New Jersey and this year in Maryland and Rhode Island.

The sources of economic diversity

Within a context of overall backwardness lie substantial variations in the level of development of the different states of India. Six out of 28 states (Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal) account for a little more than 50 per cent of the GDP generated by all of them together. Per capita gross state domestic product in 2010 varied from a third of the national average in the state of Bihar to more than one-and-a-half times the national average in the case of Maharashtra and Haryana.
In a country as large as India, regional variations are inevitable. Variations in geographical terrain that affect agricultural productivity, differences in climatic conditions and differentials in the availability of crucial raw materials, among other factors, affect a state’s performance relative to that of others. But what stands out from an even impressionistic examination of differentials in economic performance suggest that these kinds of “initial conditions” are not the prime determinants of regional inequalities. States rich in mineral resources such as Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkand and Orissa are among the more backward, and the performance of the North-eastern states cannot be explained by their geographical weaknesses alone.
What seems to be crucial here is the evolution of economic policy over a long period of time, especially since the colonial period. The impact of colonialism came first through the operations of the British East India Company and then through the workings of the imperial government. The impact of colonialism was not only regionally concentrated, with its full force visible in the Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras, but indeed very different across even these regions.
In Bengal, for instance, the revenue-farming system developed under the Permanent Settlement, which resulted in absentee landlordism and a process of subinfeudation, adversely affected productive investment in land, more than it did elsewhere. Further, while imports of commodities like textiles from England resulted in the destruction of the handicrafts industry, colonial trade and investment did not generate a modern industrial sector that could adequately absorb the displaced labour. The result was a process of deindustrialisation. On the other hand, since the effects of British entry were felt less and later in the Bombay and Madras Presidencies and they were subjected to different land poliies, they were not as adversely impacted. In fact, some regions like the Punjab gained from investments in irrigation infrastructure which stood them in good stead for a long time thereafter.
The regional inequalities generated or strengthened by such influences were significantly enhanced in the post independence period, for a number of reasons. The first was the inevitable tendency towards cumulative divergence in economies where markets play an important role. Investments and the best human capital are attracted to already developed regions. They then suck in mineral resources from other regions that remain backward. The successful regions tend to generate more revenues for provincial governments that can strengthen infrastructure. And productivity and income growth creates vibrant local markets for goods and services.
A second reason for divergence was not the operation of spontaneous tendencies but the role of the central government. Mandated to collect a significant share of revenues and devolve a substantial proportion to the states through both statutory transfers determined by Finance Commissions constituted every five years and discretionary transfers through the Planning Commission, the Centre was expected to correct for regional imbalances. As numerous studies have shown, this did not occur in practice, resulting in the persistence or, according to some, widening of spontaneously generated regional inequalities.
The third were significant variations in agricultural growth. For close to two decades after Independence in 1947, agricultural growth was substantially driven by the possibilities for expansion of area under cultivation, supported by some productivity increase. By the mid-1960s, however, the possibilities of expanding area under cultivation were by and large exhausted. Growth now depended on raising cropping intensity and raising productivity in each cropping season. Pushed by an agrarian crisis precipitated by two bad harvests in the mid-1960s, the government of India chose to implement the Green Revolution strategy, which besides using high-yielding varieties of seeds, required a package consisting among other things of access to irrigation and use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
It was to be expected that such a strategy would be more successful in areas where farmers had access to irrigation facilities and access to the resources needed to finance this more expensive (even if more profitable) system of production. Further, the productivity increases delivered by HYVs varied across crops, benefiting farmers cultivating crops like wheat substantially more in the initial phases. Thus some increase in regional inequalities in agricultural growth was inevitable, though it was expected that over time as the early-starters lose their gains and the revolution spreads across geographies there would be a tendency towards convergence.
However, the experience has been disappointing. A study by G.S. Bhalla and Gurmail Singh (2009) found that while the “new technology matured during the period 1980-83 to 1990-93 when it spread widely to more areas and encompassed more crops”, leading to higher in the levels and growth rates of yields and output as in most states and regions of India, the post-reform period 1990-93 to 2003-06 is characterised by a serious retrogression both in the matter of levels and growth rates of yield and output in most states and regions. While in the north-western parts of the country growth slowed because of an erosion of productivity increase and profitability due to excessive use of inputs and decreasing input use efficiency, in many other parts including the eastern region the problem can be traced to a decline in public investment in irrigation, water management and flood control, and in scientific research.
Finally, underlying the increase in regional inequality were also variations in the growth of the other important commodity producing sector, namely, manufacturing. India’s limited manufacturing growth, which has rstricted the sector’s share to 16 per cent of India’s GDP in 2006 and 12.2 per cent of the country’s workforce in 2004-05, was also regionally extremely concentrated. According to a study by Jayan Jose Thomas, the combined share of Maharashtra and Gujarat in the total value added by India’s factory sector was 36 per cent in 1959-62 and 37 per cent in 2005-08. The share of these States in India’s population was only 14 per cent in 2004-05.
It is true that the southern States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had recorded significant increases in industrial activity during the five decades since the beginning of the Second Five Year Plan in 1956. The combined share of four southern States in total factory sector value added in India increased from 17 per cent during 1959-62 to 25 per cent during 2005-08. However, during the same period, the eastern States of West Bengal and Bihar suffered a sharp decline in factory production. West Bengal’s share in total value added by India’s factory sector fell from 20 per cent in 1959-62 to 3 per cent only in 2005-08.
Things seem to have worsened more recently. Between 1989-92 and 2005-08, the western States, especially Maharashtra and Gujarat, increased their shares in India’s factory sector value added (by 10 percentage points). On the other hand, the Eastern States further lost shares in the country’s factory sector value added, investment and employment, in a continuation of the decline they suffered during the earlier decades. The northern States too, which were gainers until the 1980s, lost their shares during the 1990s and 2000s.
Thus, economic liberalization and “reform” seem to be worsening rather than improving the degree of regional inequality in both agriculture and industry. This has been added too by the growing role of services. While services accounted for 43 and 48 per cent respectively of the increment of GDP at current prices in the 1970s and 1980s, the figure rose to 58 per cent and 62 per cent respectively during the 1990s and the years 2000-01 to 2004-05.
There are two components to the services sector. One is the low-income, low-productivity sink into which labour that is unemployed and not protected with social security is driven as a result of distress. The other are the “modern”, high productivity services such as financial, business and IT-enabled services. The latter are largely concentrated in the metropolitan cities and large urban agglomerations. Growth of this kind would only worsen regional inequality.
Thus it is clear that, besides overcoming the worst forms of deprivation everywhere in the country, India needs to address the substantial regional inequalities in growth and development to safeguard its unity as a nation.

Government to Launch Advocate Training Scheme - Rajiv Gandhi Adhivakta Prashikshan Yojna

Government of India has evolved a Scheme named Rajiv Gandhi Adhivakta Prashikshan Yojna (Rajiv Gandhi Advocate’s Training Scheme) to be launched on 27 June, 2011.  The Scheme envisages selection of 10 young practicing Advocates from each State every year for being imparted professional training.     

This initiative is in sync with the Supreme Court directive in the case of  State of Maharashtra vs Manubhai Pragaji Vashi (1995) 5 SCC 730 where the Court had observed that continuing and well organised legal education is absolutely essential reckoning the new trends in the world order and to meet the ever-growing challenges. 

The main object of the Scheme is to motivate and encourage young talented meritorious lawyers to remain in practice at the Bar at grass root level imparting  professional training to them.  The Scheme targets young lawyers who are practicing in Magistrate and Munsif Courts, by providing proper professional training for a period of two months so that they may serve the need of law professionals at grass root level.  The training will encourage them to stay in the profession at the grass root level and the nation would get benefit of their services in the field of providing justice to all.  Each year, from each State, not more than ten and practicing young advocates, shall be selected for this purpose.  Preference will be given to SC/ST/Other Backward Classes and physically handicapped advocates.

            Only talented and meritorious Advocates in actual practice in Magistrate or Munsif courts, not above 30 years of age, are eligible for the selection by the Selection Committee for this training.  He/she should be willing to make services available for legal aid programme.  

As per the Scheme, the Selection Committee is to consist of a High Court Judge to be nominated by Chief Justice of that High Court, Additional/Assistant Solicitor-General to that High Court, Chairman, State Bar Council and Advocate-General of the State.  The  selected candidates shall be provided professional training of two months.  The Training will have two  components-

(i)                One month training imparted in a National Law School
(ii)             One month training under a Senior/leading Advocate of the place where the candidate practices

Professional training to select candidates shall be given by a National Law School/University  nominated by the Central Government.  During the training, selected candidates  shall be provided free lodging and boarding facility.  

For the purpose of meeting the expenditure of the scheme, the Central Government shall provide the necessary amount in the Budget of Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs).  The fund shall be used for the purpose of-

·        Expenditure in providing training through law school;
·        Expenditure for providing lodging and boarding facilities to the selected candidates during the professional training at Law School;
·        Necessary administrative expenses for administering the scheme.

For the purpose of administering the scheme, a National Committee has been constituted.   The National Law University, Delhi, in consultation with the Central Government shall –

·        Fix the maximum number of candidates to be selected in a year for each State and Union Territory;
·        Empanel Senior Advocate/Leading Advocate under whom candidates will be placed for training; and
·        From time to time review the progress/success of the scheme and make necessary changes.

Currently, 180 advocates have been selected by the Selection Committees of 18 States (10 from each State).  Four batches will be trained in the first phase, which will be held  from 27th June to 23rd July, 2011.  The advocates will be placed with the empanelled Senior Advocates of the place  where the trainee advocate practices.

In the 12th Five Year Plan, the scheme will be revised for training from 50 candidates from each State. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ban Ki-moon gets second term as U.N. chief

The U.N. General Assembly voted unanimously to give Ban Ki—moon a second term as secretary-general on June 21, praising him for strengthening the world body’s role and visibility in difficult circumstances.
The 192-member assembly applauded loudly as it adopted a resolution giving the 67-year-old South Korean diplomat another five years at the helm of the U.N. Assembly president Joseph Deiss banged his gavel and proclaimed Mr. Ban’s selection by acclamation to a new term starting Jan.1.
Mr. Ban announced earlier this month that he wanted a second term. He faced no opposition and was recommended by the Security Council for the new term. All regional groups at the U.N. endorsed him, and their chairs joined in sponsoring the Assembly resolution.
Gabon’s U.N. Ambassador Nelson Messone, the current Security Council president who introduced the assembly resolution, said Mr. Ban has “remarkably and with all objectivity and independence” worked on every continent, to promote peace, justice and international security, “sometimes in particularly difficult and trying circumstances.”
After the vote, the secretary-general was escorted to the podium where Mr. Deiss told him, “In a complex, difficult international environment, you have strengthened the role and the visibility of the United Nations by adopting reform measures, launching exciting, innovative initiatives, and calling faithfully and constantly for respect for human rights, the rule of law and the other values rooted in our charter.”

India silent on endosulfan at Rotterdam Convention

India is remaining silent on the listing of endosulfan under the Rotterdam Convention at the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties which opened in Geneva on June 20.
The Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade requires exporting countries of listed chemicals to provide the importing countries with data on effects of the pesticide in advance so that the importing country could opt to reject or prohibit the imports.
The Convention agreed, in principle, to list endosulfan under the Convention. However, final decision had been delayed because Cuba would not agree to the listing unless decision included need for technical and financial assistance. An agreement might be worked out before the closure of the conference on Friday.
Meriel Watts, who is attending the Convention as representative of Pesticide Action Network (Asia-Pacific) said in an email message that the conference had already decided to list alachlor and aldicarb under the Convention.
India, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and Sudan objected to listing of Chrysotile asbestos besides Zimbabwe and Russia which are non-members. So, a decision had been postponed until after discussion on how to deal with chemicals for which consensus could not be reached.
Later the conference formed a contact group to discuss the issue and attempted to work out a consensus on chrysotile asbestos.
In its opening statement at the Conference, India noted the importance of achieving Convention objectives within the framework of sustainable development. It called for development of alternatives to listed chemicals, and emphasized the importance of consensus-based decision-making, according to Earth Negotiations Bulletin published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
China called for consensus-based decision-making and a gradual approach in listing chemicals under the Convention, it said.
Opening the conference, President Noluzuko (Zukie) Gwayi expressed optimism that participants would use the conference to improve the effectiveness of the Convention. She noted that support for the attendance of all parties was not available because of the Convention’s extreme financial constraints.
Jim Willis, Joint Executive Secretary of the Basel, Stockholm, and Rotterdam conventions, highlighted the successes of the Rotterdam Convention, including listing 40 chemicals and establishing the Chemical Review Committee as a strong, science-based subsidiary body.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Economist Suresh Tendulkar passes away

With the demise of Prof. Suresh Tendulkar at the age of 72 following a cardiac arrest in Pune, the country has lost yet another eminent economist who played a significant part in moulding the government’s economic policy making.
A Ph.D in economics from Harvard University and Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics (University of Delhi) from 1978 to 2004, Prof. Tendulkar was a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) from 2004 to 2008 and its Chairman from 2008 to 2009 when C. Rangarajan vacated the chief’s position to enter the Rajya Sabha.
Prof. Tendulkar’s pioneering contribution was his extensive work on poverty and estimation of people below poverty line (BPL). In his report submitted in November 2009 as Chairman of an expert group on the methodology for estimation of poverty constituted by the Planning Commission, he estimated that every third Indian is living in poverty and the number of the poor has shot up by nearly 10 per cent to over 37 per cent. The report pointed out that 41.8 per cent of the rural population spend a meagre sum of Rs 447 a month on essential necessities like food, fuel, light, clothing and footwear.
Agreeing with the estimation of the expert group, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had said: “Personally, I think the recommendation made by the Tendulkar report regarding higher number of people that need to be covered under BPL schemes is reasonable. Planning Commission will review the Tendulkar Report soon,” said Ahluwalia.
The endorsement of the Tendulkar report’s view by Mr. Ahluwalia assumed significance at that point of time as the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on the Food Security Bill was then deliberating on the number of people to be declared beneficiaries under the Act. Going by the report, while the number of the country’s poor would stand increased by 10 per cent, the BPL cardholder list would also go up to a little over eight crore as compared to the obsolete data which pegged the figure at 6.5 crore.
Even as the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi is yet to come to a final decision, the fact remains that while funding the food security scheme at present would entail a cost of over Rs 45,000 crore, the higher estimates of poverty by the Tendulkar committee would increase the funding cost to about Rs 65,000 crore.
Prof. Tendulkar also did extensive work on credit and privatisation policies and Indian development issues and policies, including liberalisation and globalisation. He was also a part-time member of the National Statistical Commission (2000-01), the first Disinvestment Commission (1996-99), and the Fifth Central Pay Commission (1994-97) appointed by the government.
In a condolence message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that in his demise, "our country has lost one of our most eminent economists. His work on poverty was path-breaking and will continue to guide and inspire the coming generations of economists".

IMD scales down its forecast for monsoon

The South-west monsoon season this year may not be as bountiful as was expected earlier.
The India Meteorological Department on June 21  announced that latest analysis showed that rainfall during the four month season would be only 95 per cent of the long period average [LPA] subject to a model error of plus or minus four per cent.
In its earlier forecast made on April 19, the IMD had predicted a rainfall of 98 per cent of the LPA subject to a model error of plus or minus five per cent.
The IMD also announced that the rainfall during July and August could be well below normal this year. According to the Department, rainfall during July is likely to be 93 per cent of the LPA for that month, and that for August 94 per cent of the LPA for that month.
(These estimates are subject to a model error of plus or minus nine per cent).
Asked specifically about rains during July, which is crucial for the agricultural sector, IMD Director General, Ajit Tyagi, said the system was likely to be weak during the first half of the month and pick up later.
Stressing that strong and weak phases were a common feature of monsoon, he pointed out that the system had remained robust ever since its onset over Kerala on May 29.
``The system is expected to remain robust and cover most parts of the country except for a small area in the extreme north-west region by the end of this month, before entering into a weak phase''.
On onset over Delhi, he said, indications were that it would set in over the capital around the normal date of June 29.
The IMD also announced that the overall rainfall is likely to be the worst in the southern peninsular region this year. It is likely to get a rainfall of only about 94 per cent of its LPA for the season as a whole. [The region is composed of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands]
In contrast, the north-west region, which is likely to top the table, is forecast to get a rainfall of 97 per cent of its LPA for the season. [The region consists of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan].
The north-east and the Central India regions are likely to fall in between, with a rainfall of 95 per cent of their LPA for the season. [While the north-east region consists of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Sikkim besides the seven north-eastern States, Central India region consists of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Goa and Chattisgarh].
Releasing the new forecasts, Union Science and Technology, Pawan Kumar Bansal, stressed that there was no need for any panic.
``There is no doubt a scaling down of the estimates. But, a rainfall of 95 per cent [for the country as a whole and for the season in its entirety] will not be that bad. It will be just below normal. There is absolutely no cause for panic''.
Senior IMD officials said the forecast has been scaled down as some of the parameters for which data became available after the last forecast were found to be not favourable.
In all, six predictors are used for the forecast: north-Atlantic sea surface temperature in December and January, equatorial south east Indian Ocean sea surface temperature in February and March, east Asia mean sea level pressure again in February and March, central Pacific sea surface temperature tendency from March to May, the north Atlantic mean sea level pressure in May and north central Pacific zonal wind in May.
In other words the data for the last three predictors are available only between March and May. Out of the three, the data for the central Pacific sea surface temperature tendency and the north Atlantic mean sea level pressure were found to be unfavourable to the monsoon this year.
The data for the first three predictors, which went into the making of the earlier forecast, on the contrary, were either favourable or neutral.

Draft Lokpal Bill - Civil society version


In his foreword to the UN Convention Against Corruption, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan wrote, “Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on society. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and it allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish.
This evil phenomenon is found in all countries, big and small, rich and poor – but it is in the developing world that its effects are more destructive. Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining the government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign aid and investment. Corruption is a key element in economic underperformance and the major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development”.
The preamble of this Convention which has been signed by India and has been ratified by it, states that this Convention was adopted (on 31st October 2003) because the parties adopting it were “concerned about the seriousness of the problems and the threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, undermining the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law”.
Some of the serious effects of corruption in India were set out in 1993 itself in the N.N. Vohra Committee report, which stated that, “The nexus between the criminal gangs, police, bureaucracy and politicians has come out clearly in various parts of the country. The existing criminal justice system, which was essentially designed to deal with the individual offences/crimes, is unable to deal with the activities of the Mafia; the provisions of law in regard economic offences are weak….The various crime Syndicates/Mafia organisations have developed significant muscle and money power and established linkages with governmental functionaries, political leaders and others to be able to operate with impunity”.
Corruption has indeed assumed alarming proportions and it is clear that the existing anti-corruption institutions have failed to tackle the menace and it has therefore become imperative to address the problems which plague the effectiveness of existing anti-corruption institutions and laws.
Article 6 (2) of UNCAC provides that “each state party shall grant the body (anti corruption institution) or bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, the necessary independence, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system, to enable the body or bodies to carry out its or their functions effectively and free from any undue influence. The necessary material resources and specialized tasks, as well as the training that such staff may require to carry out their functions should be provided”.
This bill provides for the constitution of a Lokpal Authority which will be independent of the public officials and public authorities that it will be empowered to investigate and prosecute. Such independence is sought to be provided both by way of a broad based and transparent selection process as well as by functional autonomy. The bill, therefore, provides that the Lokpal shall have the authority to select its own staff and also ensure that such staff is adequate to handle complaints of corruption, misconduct as well as grievances. Corruption always involves misconduct and gives rise to grievances. These are inter-related. The existing vigilance machinery and the existing grievance redressal machinery also suffer from the problem of conflict of interests where vigilance officers and grievance redressal officers are unrealistically expected to exercise vigilance over their own bosses or those who exercise administrative control over them. The bill, therefore, provides that the vigilance machinery and the grievance redressal machinery also be brought under the supervisory control of an independent Lokpal.
Article 7 (4) of UNCAC provides that “each state party shall, in accordance with the fundamental principles of their local law, endeavour to adopt, maintain and strengthen systems that promote transparency and prevent conflicts of interests”. These are the principles on the basis of which powers of investigation and prosecution for corruption, enquiry and punishment for misconduct are required to be entrusted to an independent authority which would have no conflict of interests.
Article 8 (2) of UNCAC provides that “in particular, each state party shall endeavour to apply within its own institutional and legal systems, codes or standards of conduct for the correct, honourable and proper performance of public functions”. In accordance with these principles, the bill provides that each public authority shall prescribe a citizen’s charter for the performance of its public functions for which it would be held accountable to the independent Lokpal authority.
Article 8 (5) of the UNCAC provides that “each state party shall endaevour, where appropriate and in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic laws, to establish measures and systems requiring public officials to make declarations to appropriate authorities regarding, inter-alia, their outside activities, employment, investment, assets and substantial gifts or benefits from which a conflict of interest may result with respect to their functions as public officials”.
Article 8 (6) provides that “each state party shall consider taking, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law, disciplinary or other measures against public officials who violate the codes or standards established in accordance with this Article”.
Article 12 dealing with the private sector obliges each state party to take measures for “promoting transparency amongst private entities, including where appropriate, measures regarding the identity of legal and natural persons involved in the establishment and management of corporate entities; preventing the misuse of procedures regulating private entities including procedures regarding subsidies and licenses granted by public authorities for commercial activities; preventing conflicts of interests by imposing restrictions as appropriate and for a reasonable period of time, on the professional activities of former public officials or on the employment of public officials by the private sector after their resignation or retirement, where such activities or employment relate directly to the functions held or supervised by those public officials during their tenure”.
Article 13 of the UNCAC dealing with participation of society provides “each state party shall take appropriate measures within its means and in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law to promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society, non-government organizations and community based organizations in the prevention of and the fight against corruption and to raise public awareness regarding the existence, causes and gravity of and the threat posed by corruption. This participation shall be strengthened by such measures as: enhancing the transparency of and promoting the contribution of the public to decision making processes; ensuring that the public has effective access to information”.
Article 34 of UNCAC provides that “with due regard to the rights of third parties, acquired in good faith, each state party shall take measures, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic laws, to address consequences of corruption. In this context, state parties may consider corruption a relevant factor in legal proceedings to annul or rescind a contract, withdraw a concession or other similar instrument or take any other remedial action”.
In accordance with all the above principles enunciated in the UNCAC, the powers of investigation and prosecution of public officials for corruption and disciplinary action for corruption against government officials are sought to be brought under an independent Lokpal authority. In addition, violation of the citizen’s charter which is akin to a code of conduct, would also be enquired into by the vigilance machinery under the Lokpal. Other ancillary powers such as freezing of assets acquired by public servants by corrupt means are also sought to be conferred on this authority. The integrity of the authority and the anti-corruption/vigilance machinery under its control is sought to be achieved by mandating transparency in its functioning and public participation, wherever possible. The accountability of the Lokpal itself would be to the Supreme Court, which would have the authority to enquire into and order the removal of members of the Lokpal. The officials under the Lokpal will be accountable to independent complaints authorities apart from the Lokpal itself. Judicial review over the actions of the Lokpal by the High Courts under Article 226 and the Supreme Court under Article 32 and 136 would further ensure the accountability of the Lokpal.
Lokpal Bills have been successively introduced in Parliament for the last 42 years but aborted each time for various reasons. An effective, independent and empowered Lokpal institution is a need for which the country cannot wait any longer. This Bill seeks to achieve this objective.
A Bill to establish an independent authority to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to detect corruption by expeditious investigation and to prosecute offenders and to ensure timely redressal of certain types of public grievances and to provide protection to whistleblowers.
Be it be enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
1.(1)This Act may be called the Jan Lokpal Act, 2011.
(2)It shall come into force on 120th day of its securing assent from the President of India.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-
(a)“Board” means the Chairman and the other members of the Lokpal Collectively.
(b)“Complaint” means an allegation of corruption or a request by whistleblower for protection and appropriate action.
(c ) “Lokpal” means and includes,
(i)Benches constituted under this Act and performing functions under this Act;
(ii)Any officer or employee performing under this Act,
(iii)The Board in rest of the cases;
(d)“Lokpal Bench” means a Bench of 2 or more members of the Lokpal acting together in respect of any matter in accordance with the regulations. Each bench shall have a member with legal background.
(e) “Act of corruption” includes -:
i) anything made punishable under Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code or under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; which would also include any offence committed by an elected member of a house of legislature even in respect of his speech or vote inside the house.
ii) willfully giving any undue benefit to any person or obtaining any benefit from any public servant in violation of any laws or rules,
iii) victimization of a whistleblower or a witness.
iv) repeated violation of citizen’s charter by any public servant.
(f) “Full bench” means a bench with seven members with or without the Chairperson
(g)“Government Servant” means a public servant, who is not an elected representative or a judicial officer.
(h)“Grievance” means a claim by a person that he could not get satisfactory redressal according to a citizens’ charter despite approaching a Grievance Redressal Officer of that Department;
(i)“Judicial officer” means the officers appointed under section 22 of this Act.
(j) “Penalty” under this Act means punishment of dismissal, removal or reduction in rank
(k)“Public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-governance established or constituted –
i) by or under the Constitution; or
ii) by or under any other law made by the Parliament, or a state legislature
iii) by notification issued or order made by the Government, and includes any body owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government;
(l)“Public servant” shall have the same meaning as defined in section 2(c) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
(m)“Whistleblower” means any person, who provides information about corruption in a public authority or is a witness or victim in that case or who faces the threat of
(i) professional harm, including but not limited to illegitimate transfer, denial of promotion, denial of appropriate perquisites, departmental proceedings, discrimination or
(ii)physical harm, or
(iii)is actually subjected to any harm;
because of either making a complaint to the Lokpal under this Act, or for filing an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 or by any other legal; action aimed at preventing or exposing corruption or mal-governance.
3. Notwithstanding anything in any other Act or Law the provisions of this Act shall prevail and to the extent that the provisions of this Act are repugnant to any other provision in any other Act or law, the provisions in other Acts or laws shall stand amended to the extent of such repugnancy.
4. (1)Immediately after the commencement of this Act, the Central Government by a Notification shall establish an institution known as Lokpal, who would have administrative, financial and functional independence from the government.
(2)The Lokpal shall consist of a Chairperson and 10 other members and various officers under them at different levels to perform such functions as are assigned to them under this Act.
(3)The Chairperson and the 10 members of the Lokpal shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
(4) The following shall not be eligible to become Chairperson or Member of Lokpal:
Any person, who is not a citizen of India, or
Any person, against whom charges were ever framed by any court of law for any offence involving moral turpitude, or
Any person, who is less than 45 years in age, or
Any person, who was in the service of any government and has remitted office within the last two years, either by way of resignation or retirement.
(5) At least four members of Lokpal shall have a legal background.
Explanation: “Legal Background” means that the person should have held a judicial office in the territory of India for at least ten years or should have been an advocate in a High Court or the Supreme Court for at least fifteen years.
(6)The Selection Committee shall consist of the following:-
(i)The Prime Minister of India, who will be the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.
(ii) The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
(iii) Two judges of Supreme Court of India and two permanent Chief Justices of the High Courts selected by collegium of all Supreme Court judges
(v) The Chief Election Commissioner of India
(vi)The Comptroller & Auditor General of India
(vii) All previous Chairpersons of Lokpal.
(7)The Selection Committee shall select the Chairperson and the other members of the Lokpal from out of a short list prepared by the Search Committee. The Chairperson shall be a person with extensive knowledge of law.
(8)A Search Committee shall consist of 10 members. 5 of its members shall be selected by the Selection Committee from amongst the retired Chief Justices of India, the retired Chief Election Commissioners and the retired Comptroller and Auditor Generals with impeccable reputation of integrity, who have not joined any political party after retirement and who are not holding any office under any government. The 5 members so selected shall, through consensus, co-opt another 5 members from the Civil Society in the search committee.
(9)The Search Committee before preparing the short list will invite nominations from such eminent individuals or such class of people, whom they deem fit, for the position of Chairperson or the members of the Lokpal.
(10)Only persons with impeccable integrity and record of public service particularly in the field of fighting corruption shall be eligible for being considered for nomination.
(11) The recommendations about nominees should, interalia, contain details of any allegations faced by that candidate under any law, details of his work against corruption in the past, reasons why that person is suitable for the job and any other material that the search committee may decide.
(12) The search committee, using any other means, shall collect as much information about the background and past achievements of these candidates.
(13)Such nominations as are received shall be put on a web site for inviting comments from the people with regard to the suitability or otherwise of the nominees.
(14)The Search Committee after taking into consideration the comments/information received from the public shall prepare, preferably through consensus, the short list of 3 times the number of persons to be appointed as members of the Lokpal.
(15)Any nominations to which objections are raised by any 3 members of the Search Committee shall not be included in the short list.
(16)Before sending the short list to the Selection Committee, the Search Committee will get the names of the short listed persons put on a public web site to enable people to send any relevant information/comments about the shortlisted persons.
(17)The Selection Committee shall, after considering all relevant information about the short listed candidates, select the required number of persons preferably through consensus. However, a person shall not be selected if 3 members of the Selection Committee disapprove such names.
(18)The Selection Committee after selecting the persons to be appointed as members or Chairperson of the Lokpal shall ascertain their willingness to serve as members or Chairperson, as the case may be, before recommending the names to the President.
(19) The Government shall fill up a vacancy of the Chairperson or a member 3 months before the member or the Chairperson is due to retire. If the vacancy arises due to unforeseen reasons, it shall be filled within three months of such vacancy arising.
(20) The Officers in the Lokpal shall be appointed by the Board or any other authority designated by the Regulations whether on a permanent basis or on a temporary basis.
(21) The Chairperson or members of Lokpal shall not be serving member of either the Parliament or the Legislature of any State and shall not hold any office of profit (other than the office as Chairperson or member) or carry on any business or practice any profession and accordingly, before he enters upon his office, a person appointed as the Chairperson or member of Lokpal shall-
(i)if he holds any office or profit, resign from such office; or
(ii)if he is carrying on any business, sever his connection with the conduct and management of such business; or
(iii)if he is practicing any profession, suspend practice of such profession, or
(iv)if he is associated directly or indirectly with any other activity, which is likely to cause conflict of interest in the performance of his duties in Lokpal, he should suspend his association with that activity.
Provided that if even after the suspension, the earlier association of that person with such activity is likely to adversely affect his performance at Lokpal, that person shall not be appointed as a member or Chairperson of Lokpal.
(22)A person appointed as the Chairperson or member of Lokpal shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or upto the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier;
Provided that ,-
(a)the Chairperson or member of Lokpal may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign from his office;
(b)the Chairperson or member may be removed from office in the manner provided in this Act.
(23)There shall be paid to the Chairperson and each member a salary equal to that of the Chief Justice of India and that of the judge of the Supreme Court respectively;
(24)The allowances and pension payable to and other conditions of service of the Chairperson or a member shall be such as may be prescribed by the government;
Provided that the allowances and pension payable to and other conditions of service of the Chairperson or a member shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
(25)The Chairperson and members of Lokpal shall not be eligible for appointment to any position in the Government of India or the government of any State or any such body which is funded by any of the Governments or for contesting elections to Parliament, State Legislature or local bodies.
5.The Lokpal shall select and appoint a Secretary to the Lokpal who will have the rank of Secretary to the Government of India. He shall be competent to authenticate all orders passed by the Lokpal.
Functions of Lokpal:
6.The Lokpal shall have the following functions and powers
a) to exercise superintendence over the investigation of offences involving any act of corruption.
b) to give directions to the investigating officers for the purpose of proper investigation of such offences.
c)after completion of investigation in any case involving an allegation of an act of corruption, to impose punishment of dismissal, removal or reduction in rank against government servants after giving them reasonable opportunities of being heard.
d) to ensure that the public grievances covered by this Act are redressed in a time bound manner
e) to initiate prosecution before a Special Court established under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
f) to ensure the proper prosecution of cases before a Special Court established under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
g) to provide by rules for the terms and conditions of service including the allowances and pension payable to the officers and staff of the Lokpal.
h) to authorize a Bench of the Lokpal to issue letters-rogatory in relation to any case pending investigation under this Act.
i) to receive complaints from whistle blowers.
j) to receive complaints against any officer or staff of Lokpal.
k) to recruit investigating officers and other officers and staff and get them trained in modern methods of scientific investigation.
(l)to appoint judicial officers, prosecutors and senior counsels.
(m) to acquire modern equipment necessary for proper investigation.
n) to attach property and assets acquired by corrupt means and to confiscate them in certain cases as provided under this Act.
(o) to recommend cancellation or modification of a lease, license, permission, contract or agreement, if it was obtained by corrupt means and to recommend blacklisting of a firm, company, contractor or any other person, involved in an act of corruption. The public authority shall either comply with the recommendation or reject the same within a month of receipt of recommendation. In the event of rejection of its recommendation, the Lokpal may approach appropriate High Court for seeking appropriate directions to be given to the public authority.
p)to ensure due compliance of its orders by imposing penalties on persons failing to comply with its orders as provided under this Act.
q) to initiate suo moto appropriate action under the Act on receipt of any information from any source about any corruption.
r) to make recommendations to public authorities, in consultation with them, to make changes in their work practices to reduce the scope for corruption and whistleblower victimization. The concerned authority shall send its compliance report to Lokpal within two months specifying detailed reasons, wherever they choose to reject any of the recommendations.
s) to prepare a sentencing policy for the offences under Prevention of Corruption Act and revising it from time to time.
t) to ensure that the time limits mentioned in this Act are strictly adhered to.
u) to ensure the integrity of its functionaries and impose punishments of dismissal, removal and reduction in rank against.
v) to require any public authority to render any specific help required by the Lokpal.
w) to prepare an appropriate reward scheme to encourage complaints from within and outside the government to report acts and evidence of corruption.
Provided that the total value of such reward shall not exceed 10% of the value of the loss recovered or loss prevented.
(x) to inquire into the assets declaration statements filed by all successful candidates after any election to any seat in any House of the Parliament.
(x) Such other functions as may be necessary for the proper implementation of this Act.
Powers of officers under Lokpal
7. (1)The Investigating Officers of Lokpal authorized to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 shall have all the powers which are vested in a Police Officer while investigating offences under the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as the powers conferred on the director of enforcement under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 as well as under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
(2)The members of Lokpal or any officer under the Lokpal while exercising any powers under the Act shall have the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular, in respect of the following matters :
(a)summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;
(b)requiring the discovery and production of any document;
(c)receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d)requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e)issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or other documents; and
(f)any other matter which may be prescribed
(3)All members of the Lokpal and all officers of the Lokpal superior in rank to an Investigating Officer may exercise the same powers as may be exercised by such Investigating Officer.
(4) A Lokpal bench may punish a public servant with imprisonment up to 6 months or with fine or both, if he fails to comply with its order for ensuring their compliance
(5) If during the course of investigation into a complaint, the Lokpal feels that continuance of a government servant in that position could adversely affect the course of investigations or that the said government servant is likely to destroy or tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses or is likely to continue with corruption, the Lokpal may issue appropriate directions including transfer of that government servant from that position.
(6) The Lokpal may, at any stage of investigation under this Act, direct by an interim order, appropriate authorities to take such action as is necessary, to prevent the public servant from secreting the assets allegedly acquired by him by corrupt means;
(7) While investigating any offence under Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, Lokpal shall be competent to investigate any offence under any other law in the same case.
(8) If during any investigation under this act, the Lokpal is satisfied that any preventive action is necessary in public interest to prevent the ongoing incidence of corruption, it may make any recommendation to the public authority concerned to stay the implementation or enforcement of any decision or take any such action as is recommended by the Lokpal. The public authority shall either comply with the recommendation of the Lokpal or reject the same within 15 days of the recommendation thereof. In the event of rejection of its recommendation, the Lokpal may approach the appropriate High Court for seeking appropriate directions to be given to the public authority.
8. For the purposes of investigation of offences related to acts of corruption, the appropriate Bench of the Lokpal shall be deemed to be designated authority under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act empowered to approve interception and monitoring of messages of data or voice transmitted through telephones, internet or any other medium as covered under the Indian Telegraph Act read with Information and Technology Act 2000 and as per rules and regulations made under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.
Issue of search warrants:
9. (1) Where, in consequence of information in his possession, the Lokpal
(a)has reason to believe that any person –
(i) to whom a summon or notice under this Act, has, been or might be issued, will not or would not produce or cause to be produced any property, document or thing which will be necessary or useful for or relevant to any inquiry or other proceedings to be conducted by him;
It may by a search warrant authorize any officer not below the rank of an Inspector of Police to conduct a search or carry out an inspection in accordance therewith and in particular to, enter and search any building or place where he has reason to suspect that such property, or document, is kept;
(2)The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, relating to search and seizure shall apply, so far as may be, to searches and seizures under sub-section (1).
(3)A warrant issued under sub-section (1) shall for all purposes, be deemed to be a warrant issued by a court under section 93 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
10. (1)The Lokpal may regulate the procedure for the transaction of its business or that of its officers as also allocation of its business amongst the different benches of Lokpal.
(2).No act or proceeding of the Lokpal shall be invalid merely by reason of :
(a)any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of Lokpal ;
(b)any defect in the appointment of a person acting as a member of Lokapl ; or
(c)any irregularity not affecting the merits of the case
(3) All policy level decisions including formulation of regulations, assignment and delegation of functions and powers shall be taken by the Board in accordance with regulations.
(4) A complaint by any person may be made in the form of a First Information Report as provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure which will not require any payment of fee or affidavit and could be sent to any office of the Lokpal and shall not be rejected merely on the basis of motive or intention of the complainant.
(5) The investigation in any case shall not be closed by the investigating officer without recording reasons for such closure.
(6) The hearings in any proceedings before the Lokpal shall be held in public except in exceptional circumstance where it is not in public interest to do so and the reasons for the same shall be recorded in writing before those proceedings are held in camera. The hearings held in public shall be video recorded and shall be made available to the public on payment of copying cost.
Removal of Chairperson or members of Lokpal:
11. (1).The Chairperson or any other member of the Lokpal shall only be removed from his office by the President, on the recommendation of the Supreme Court on any of the following grounds after the Supreme Court, on the complaint of any person, held an inquiry and found that he could on such ground be removed :
(a)that he has been guilty of misbehavior; or
(b) that he is unfit to continue in his office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or
(c) is adjudged an insolvent; or
(d) engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office.
(2) In any such proceeding the Supreme Court may also direct the suspension of such Chairman or member.
(3) On receipt of recommendation from the Supreme Court, the President shall forthwith remove the Chairperson or the member, as the case may be.
(4) Supreme Court shall, as far as possible, make its recommendations within 3 months of receipt of complaint under this section.
(5) If the complaint is frivolous or has been made with malafide intentions, Supreme Court may impose a fine or an imprisonment upto one year or both on the complainant.
Appeals against the orders of Lokpal:
12. Any orders passed by any bench of the Lokpal or any officer of the Lokpal shall be subject to the writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Ordinarily, High Courts shall not stay the order. However, if it does, it will have to decide the case within two months, else the stay would be deemed to have been vacated after two months and no further stay in that case could be granted.
Audit of Lokpal:
13. (1) The CAG shall conduct an annual financial and performance audit of the Lokpal.
(2) A Parliamentary Committee shall do an annual appraisal of the functioning of Lokpal. The Lokpal shall submit a compliance report, mentioning detailed reasons where it does not accept the recommendations of this committee, to the Parliament. It shall be placed on the table of the two Houses of Parliament.
Reports of Lokpal:
14. (1) The Chairperson of Lokpal shall present annually a consolidated report in the prescribed format on its performance to the President
(2)On receipt of the annual report, the President shall cause a copy thereof together with an explanatory memorandum to be laid before each House of the Parliament.
(3)The Lokpal shall publish every month on its website the list of cases received during the previous month, list of cases disposed with brief details of each such case, outcome and action taken or proposed to be taken in that case, list of cases which are pending and minutes and records of Board meetings.
Independent Complaints Authority:
15. (1)In each State, one or more complaints authority would be established by the Lokpal to entertain any complaints against any officer or staff of the Lokpal.
(2)Such complaints authority shall consist of 5 members to be selected and nominated by a Committee of 3 persons consisting of:
i)The Chief Justice of the High Court of the State;
ii)The Chairman of the State Lok Ayukata
iii)The Chairman of the State Human Rights Commission
(3) The Complaints Authority shall be chaired by a retired High Court judge and shall have two retired civil servants and two members of civil society.
(4)The complaints received against any officer or staff of the Lokpal shall be inquired into by the Complaints Authority in a public hearing and shall be decided within 2 months of the receipt of the complaint. The officer or staff of the Lokpal shall be given proper opportunity to tender his defence. If the officer or member is found guilty of misbehavior or dishonest investigation or corruption, the authority may order his dismissal, removal or reduction in rank.
(5)The final orders passed by the Complaints Authority will be subject to the writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.
(6)In suitable cases it would also be open to the complaints authority to direct suspension of the officer or staff of the Lokpal.
(7) Lokpal shall provide for the expenses related to the functioning of complaints authority.
(8) Complaints authority shall work in benches in accordance with regulations made under this Act.
Transparency within Lokpal:
16. The Lokpal shall maintain complete transparency in its functioning and shall ensure that full records of any investigation or inquiry conducted under this Act after its conclusion is made public by being put on a public web site.
17. (1)No investigation or prosecution shall be initiated without obtaining permission from a 7-Member Bench of the Lokpal against any of the following persons:-
i)The Prime Minister and any other member of the Council of Ministers
ii)Any judge of the Supreme Court or any High Court
iii)Any Member of the Parliament
18. (1)The Lokpal may by notification make regulations consistent with this Act to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2)In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the power contained in sub-section (1) any such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
a)the creation of different wings in the Lokpal to deal with different subjects like investigation, prosecution and grievances;
b)the conferment of authority on officers at different levels to exercise powers under the Act and to lay down the procedure for any inquiries including those relating to complaints against its officers or members of staff ;
c)periods within which the investigations and inquiries have to be completed
d) To provide for the taking of certain decisions by appropriate benches of the Lokpal by circulation only.
(e) Work norms for each category of officers and staff of Lokpal.
(3)The regulations framed by the Lokpal under this Section shall be laid, as soon as may be after they are issued or made, before each House of Parliament.
19. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, on the recommendation of the Lokpal, by order, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, remove the difficulty provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of 2 years from the date of commencement of this Act.
(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid before each house of Parliament.
20. (1)Every investigating officer shall endeavour to complete the investigation of an offence within a period of 6 months but when necessary he may obtain extension of time from a Bench of the Lokpal. In any case the period of investigation shall not extend 18 months.
(2).Every effort will be made by the special courts trying an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act to complete the trial within a maximum period of 12 months.
(3).To achieve the objective of a speedy trial the Lokpal shall make an annual assessment of the number of special courts required for this purpose and shall make a recommendation to the Government for creating a specific number of special courts which recommendations shall be binding on the Government.
(4) The Chief Justices of High Courts will constitute such number of special benches in respective High Courts to hear cases under this Act, to ensure that an appeal in any case is decided as expeditiously as possible and not later than six months.
(5) The judges of Special Courts and the appellate benches set up by High Courts to hear cases under this Act will deal only with cases under this Act.
21. (1)Any public official or any other person having information of any corruption in any public authority would be encouraged to send the information confidentially to the Lokpal; and it shall be the duty of the Lokpal to get an inquiry made into such information and if necessary get an investigation made under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
(2).It shall be the duty of the Lokpal to provide full protection to whistle blowers from any physical harm or administrative harassment. Identity of such whistle blowers shall also be protected if the whistle blower so desires.
(3).For achieving this objective it shall be competent for the Lokpal to give suitable direction to any security agencies for providing security as well as to any other authority to ensure that no harassment is caused to such whistle blower.
(4). Orders under this section shall be passed expeditiously and in any case within a month of receipt of complaint. Immediate action will be taken in cases involving a threat of physical victimization.
(5) The investigations in complaints by whistleblowers facing physical or professional victimization shall be fast tracked and completed within three months of receipt of the same.
22. (1)After the completion of an investigation against any government servant the Lokpal may either initiate prosecution against such public servant or may initiate proceedings for imposition of penalty or both.
(2) Lokpal shall appoint such officers, who may be retired judges or retired civil servants or such others as may be provided, to act as judicial officers for the purpose of this section, at such terms and conditions as may be provided in regulations.
(3)A bench of judicial officers will conduct an inquiry against such government servant for imposition of penalty in which full opportunity to show cause would be given to such government servant. After conclusion of the inquiry the bench shall also determine the penalty, if any, to be awarded to that public servant. The decision of the bench will be subject to approval by a higher authority prescribed by the Lokpal by through regulations.
(4)The recommendations so approved shall be binding on the appointing authority.
23. (1)For any act of corruption, the punishment shall not be less than six months of rigorous imprisonment and may extend up to imprisonment for life.
(2)The Special Court may take into consideration the higher rank of an accused person to inflict a more severe punishment.
(3) If the beneficiary of an offense is a business entity, in addition to the other punishments provided for under this Act and under the Prevention of Corruption Act, a fine of up to five times the loss caused to the public shall be recovered from the accused and the recovery may be made from the assets of the business entity and from the personal assets of its Managing Directors, if the assets of the accused person are inadequate.
(4) If any company or any of its officer or Director is convicted for any offence under Prevention of Corruption Act, that company and all companies promoted by any of that company’s promoters shall be blacklisted and be ineligible for undertaking any government work or contract in future.
(5) If a public servant is convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, such public servant shall stand removed from his office.
24. Wherever Lokpal directs imposition of financial penalty on any officer under this Act to be deducted from his salary, it shall be the duty of the Drawing and Disbursing Officer of that Department to implement such order, failing which the said Drawing and Disbursing Officer shall make himself liable for similar penalty.
25. (1) Each public authority shall prepare a specific charter within a reasonable time not exceeding one year from the coming into force of this Act.
(2)Every citizens’ charter shall enumerate the public authority’s commitments to the citizens which are capable of being met within a specific time limit and shall designate the officer whose duty would be to fulfill the commitment of the public authority.
(3) If any public authority does not prepare its citizen’s charter within a year, Lokpal shall notify the citizen’s charter on its own after consulting the public authority and the same shall be binding on that authority.
(4) Each public authority shall make an assessment of the resources required to implement the citizen’s charter and the government shall provide such resources.
(5)Each public authority shall designate an official called Public Grievance Redressal Officer in each station where the public authority has an office, to whom a complaint could be made for any violation of the citizens’ charter.
(6)The Senior most officer of that public authority in that office will be designated as the Public Grievance Redressal Officer.
(7)It shall be the duty of the Grievance Redressal Officer to get the grievance redressed within a period of 30 days from the receipt of the complaint.
(8)In the event of even the Grievance Redressal Officer not getting the grievance redressed within the specific period of 30 days a complaint could be made to the Lokpal.
(9)The Lokpal after hearing the Grievance Redressal Officer would impose suitable penalty not exceeding Rs. 500/- for each day’s delay but not exceeding Rs. 50,000/- to be recovered from the salaries of the Grievance Redressal Officer.
(10)Apart from levying the penalty on the Grievance Redressal Officer, the Lokpal may also in suitable cases recommend to the appropriate authority to have departmental punishment imposed on the Grievance Redressal Officer.
(11)The Lokpal will also issue a direction to an appropriate authority to get such grievances redressed within the time to be fixed by the Lokpal.
(12) Every public authority shall review and revise its Citizens Charter at least once every year through a process of public consultation to be held in the presence of a representative of Lokpal.
(13) Lokpal may direct any public authority to make such changes in their citizens’ charter as are mentioned in that order and that public authority shall make such changes within a month of the receipt of such order.
Provided that such changes shall have to be approved by at least a three member bench of Lokpal.
(14) There shall be at least one officer of the Lokpal in each district to receive grievances who shall be called an Appellate Grievance Officer. However, in such places where there is more concentration of central government offices, there shall be more Appellate Grievance Officers as may be required.
(15) A social audit of each Appellate Grievance Officer shall take place every six months, in which he shall present himself before the public, present the data related to his functioning, respond to public queries and incorporate suggestions from public in his functioning. The public hearing shall be attended by a senior officer from Lokpal.
(16) No case can be closed by Appellate Grievance Officer till the citizen’s grievance is redressed or the case is rejected by the Appellate Grievance Officer.
26. (1)All expenses of the Lokpal shall be charged to the Consolidated fund of India.
(2)The Board shall finalise the Lokpal’s budget in such a manner that it is less than ¼ % of the total revenues of the Government of India.
(3) Lokpal shall not need any administrative or financial sanction from any government agency to incur expenditure.
27. (1)After a public servant has been found guilty by the Special Court of having committed an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Court would also determine the assets and properties which have been acquired by such accused person by his corrupt acts.
(2)The Special Court will pass an order for the confiscation of all the assets and properties which it has found to have been acquired by the corrupt acts of the convicted public servants as well as the subsequent accruals on these assets.
(3)The Special Court would also determine whether apart from the above the accused person by his corrupt acts has also caused any loss to the exchequer or any other person and determine the amount of loss so caused. The Court shall make an order levying a fine on the accused persons so convicted for the recovery of the entire loss which his corrupt acts have caused and shall also apportion this amount among the various convicted accused persons to be recovered from them as fines.
(4)During the course of investigation if the Investigating Officer finds any property or asset which appears to have been acquired by the corrupt acts of an accused person who is being investigated, it shall make an order of attachment of those assets so that they are available for confiscation at the time of the conviction of such accused persons. In case the accused person is ultimately acquitted, these attached assets and properties will be restored to him.
28. (1)Every public servant shall within 3 months after the commencement of this Act and thereafter before the 30th June of every year submit to the Head of that public authority in which the said public servant is functioning or to such other authority as may be prescribed, a statement of his assets and liabilities and those of the members of his family which shall include their sources of income, in the format prescribed by the Lokpal.
Explanation : In this Section family of a public servant means the spouse and such children and parents of the public servant and such other people as are dependent on him.
(2)The Head of each public authority shall ensure that all such statements are put on the website by 31st of August of that year.
(3) If it is found that the public servant owns some property which was not disclosed in his statement of assets, that property would be liable to be confiscated by the Lokpal.
(4). If the public servant is found to be in possession or enjoyment of any property which is not shown in his statement of assets, it shall be presumed that it was owned by him unless he proves to the contrary.
29. (1)Section 19(1) and 19(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act shall be deleted.
(2)Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act shall not be applicable to the proceedings under this Act.
(3)Section 197 of Cr. PC shall not applicable to any proceedings under this Act.
(4) The provisions of sections 105C to 105I of CrPC shall apply to offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act whether or not they are transnational in nature.
(5) Section 389(3) of CrPC shall not apply to offences under Prevention of Corruption Act.
(6) The right to file appeals under section 377 or 378 of CrPC shall be exercised by Lokpal.
(7) Under section 372 of CrPC, the power to file an appeal shall be with the complainant as well.
(8) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 397 of CrPC, no court shall ordinarily call for records in cases related to trial of offences in Prevention of Corruption Act during any trial by a special court.
Provided that if the court calls for records, the same shall be returned within a month.
(9)Any permission which is required under any law for initiating investigation or initiating prosecution under any Act shall be deemed to have been granted once the Lokpal has granted permission to initiate investigation or prosecution for any offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
(10) The power of the Lokpal to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act shall be with the Lokpal notwithstanding any provision in the Money Laundering Act, 2002.
(11) The jurisdiction of the special courts under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to try offences under such act shall be with the Special Court notwithstanding any provision in the Money Laundering Act, 2002.
(12) The appropriate Bench of the Lokpal shall be deemed to be the designated authority under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act empowered to approve interseption and monitoring of messages or data or voice transmitted through telephones, internet or any other medium as covered under the Indian Telegraph Act read with Information and Technology Act 2000 and as per rules and regulations made under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.
(13) Section 4 (4) of Prevention of Corruption Act shall be amended as – “Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 a Special Judge shall hold the trial of an offence on day-to-day basis, and shall not grant adjournment for any purpose unless such adjournment is, in its opinion, necessary in the interests of justice and for reasons to be recorded in writing”
Punishments for false complaints:
30. (1)Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, if someone makes any complaint under this Act, which lacks any basis or evidence and is held by Lokpal to be meant only to harass certain authorities, Lokpal may impose such fines on that complainant as it deems fit, but the total fine in any one case shall not exceed Rs one lakh.
Provided that no fine can be imposed without giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the complaintant.
Provided further that merely because a case could not be proved under this Act after investigation shall not be held against a complainant for the purposes of this section.
Provided that if such complaint is against the staff or officers of Lokpal, Lokpal may sentence the complainant to three months of simple imprisonment in addition to fine.
(2)Such fines shall be recoverable as dues under Land Revenue Act.
(3)A complaint or allegation once made under this Act shall not be allowed to be withdrawn.
Provisions to prevent corruption:
31. (1) No government official shall be eligible to take up jobs, assignments, consultancies, etc. with any person, company, or organisation that he had dealt with in his official capacity.
(2) All contracts, public-private partnerships, transfer by way of sale, lease, and any form of largesse by any public authority shall be done with complete transparency and by calling for public tender/auction/bids unless it is an emergency measure or where it is not possible to do so for reasons to be recorded in writing. Any violation of this shall make the contract/largesse void. The details of all such transactions would be put up by the public authority on a public website.
(3) All contracts, agreements or MOUs known by any name related to transfer of natural resources, including land and mines to any private entity by any method like public-private partnerships, sale, lease or any form of largesse by any public authority shall be put on the website within a week of being signed.
Merger of anti-corruption branch of CBI into Lokpal:
32. (1) The part of the Delhi Special Police Establishment, dealing with investigation and prosecution of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, shall stand transferred, alongwith its employees, assets and liabilities to the Lokpal. The Central Government shall cease to have any control over the transferred part and its personnel.
(2) Such part of Delhi Special Police Establishment, which has been transferred above, shall form part of the Investigation Wing of Lokpal.
(3) The salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of services of the personnel transferred above shall be the same as they were immediately before the commencement of this Act.
(4) All cases which were being dealt by that part of Delhi Special Police Establishment, which has been transferred, shall stand transferred to Lokpal.
Immunity to bribe giver in certain cases:
33. Any bribe giver may be granted immunity from prosecution by the special court if he voluntarily and gives timely information to the Lokpal about the giving of bribe by him with entire evidence for the purpose of getting the concerned bribe taker/public servant caught and convicted, provided he also relinquishes all the illegitimate benefits which he had received by the giving of that bribe. If the information provided by such bribe giver is subsequently found to be false, the immunity could be withdrawn by the special court.
(This draft provides only for the Lokpal for central public servants. Similar provisions for Lokayuktas in the States to deal with public servants of the State will have to be incorporated in the bill)