The Delhi cabinet Monday cleared the draft of the Delhi Lokpal Bill, 2014, according to which an independent probe can be initiated against government employees, ranging from the chief minister to a peon. Its salient features are:
* It will cover all public servants – right from the chief minister to all Group D employees.
* No safeguards for the chief minister’s office while bringing it under the Lokpal’s purview.
* Provides for a legal right of protection to whistleblowers and witnesses.
* Provides for time-bound investigation and trial of corruption cases.
* Lokpal will have the power to initiate an investigation on its own (suo motu) or on a complaint from an individual.
* The punishment in cases of corruption will range from six months to 10 years and life imprisonment in rarest of rare cases.
* If the beneficiary of an offence is a business entity, in addition to the punishment provided under this law, the guilty will have to pay a fine up to five times the loss caused to public exchequer.
* The Lokpal institution will have a chairperson and 10 members.
* The Lokpal chairperson and members will be selected by a panel comprising the chief minister, leader of the opposition in the assembly, and two judges of the high court selected in a full court meeting.