Amendment order to the Lokpal Removal of Difficulties order, 2015.
MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL PUBLIC GRIEVANCES AND PENSIONS
(Department of Personnel and Training)
New Delhi, the 27th April, 2015
S.O. 1095(E) — Whereas the Central Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 62 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (1 of 2014) (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), made the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014 (hereinafter referred to as the said Order) with effect from the 15th February, 2014 for the purpose of carrying out modifications and amendments in all existing rules regulating the filing of property returns and making of declaration of assets by public servants so as to bring them in conformity with the provisions of the said Act, within a period not exceeding one hundred and eighty days from the date on which the provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 came into force, i.e., the 16th January, 2014;
And whereas, the Central Government initiated the process of modifications and amendments of all existing rules dealing with the subject matter of filing of annual returns and making of declaration of assets by public servants in consultation with various authorities, such as, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Election Commission, the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, the Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs Central Government amended the said Order on 8th September, 2014, extending the said period of two hundred and seventy days to a period of three hundred and sixty days for the purposes of section 44 of the said Act;
And whereas, the Committee constituted by the Central Government on 28th August, 2014 to simplify the forms and the process in which public servants shall make declaration of assets and liabilities as required under the said Act and the rules made thereunder, submitted its first Report to the Government on 1st October, 2014, wherein the Committee suggested simplification of form prescribed for submission of statement regarding movable assets and the form prescribed for submission of statement regarding debts and liabilities by public servants, under the aforesaid rules;
And whereas, the processing of necessary amendments to the aforesaid rules so as to incorporate the revised forms for filing statement regarding movable properties and the statement regarding debts and liabilities and the circulation of the revised formats, after their due notification in the Official Gazette, to all Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and the Chief Secretaries of all State Governments and Union territory administrations and the further process of follow-up action in terms of the said rules requiring all officers of the All India Services working in connection with the affairs of the State Governments and the officers and start working in various organisations and public sector undertakings under their control so as to ensure due compliance with the revised rules by all of them, could not be completed within the limit of three hundred and sixty days as contemplated in the principal order as amended by the order dated 8th September, 2014;
And whereas, the Central Government has decided to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, to address various inconsistencies noticed in the said Act and, in that context, a need was also felt to amend the provisions of section 44 of the said Act so as to harmonise the provisions of the said section with the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and rules framed there under, the All India Services Act, 1951 and rules framed there under, the rules framed by the Central Government in pursuance of article 148 and article 309 of the Constitution and also various statutes setting up autonomous bodies and Public Sector Undertakings and the rules framed there under, and accordingly amended the said Order on 26th December, 2014, extending the said upto 30th April, 2015 for the purposes of section 44 of the said Act;
And whereas, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, as introduced in the Lok Sabha on 18th December, stands referred to the Department related Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for examination and Report;
And whereas the said Committee has held meetings on 8th January.2015, 3rd March, 2015, 8th April, 2015 and 15th April, 2015 with non-official stakeholders, where the Department of Personnel and Training was requested to attend and respond to the questions raised by Hon’ble Members, the detailed Questionnaires received from the Committee and also to the memoranda submitted by the various stakeholders to the Committee;
And whereas, the proposed amendments which include amendment to the provisions of section 44, the exercise of aligning the existing rules and other statutory provisions with the Lokpal Act cannot be given effect to till the Bill is passed by Parliament after taking into consideration the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee;
And whereas, any action in the matter of harmonisation of rules can be taken only after the Committee presents its report to Parliament, consideration thereof by the Government and passing of the aforesaid amendment Bill by Parliament and accordingly the enforcement of the provisions of the Act is likely to take time; and hence it has become necessary to extend the said period of eighteen months to a period of twenty-one months, and the Central Government has accordingly decided to extend the period after taking into account the aforesaid factors;
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 62 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment further to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014, namely:—
In the said Order, in paragraph 2, in sub-paragraph (1), for the words “within a period not exceeding eighteen months”, the words “within a period not exceeding twenty-one months” shall be substituted.
[No. 407/12/2014-AVD-IV(B) I]
JISHNU BARUA, R. Secy.
Note.—The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014 was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, vide notification number S.O. 409(E), dated the 15th February, 2014 and subsequently vide notifications number S.O. 1840(E) dated the 15th July, 2014, S.O. 2256(E) dated the 8th September, 2014 and S.O.
3272(E) dated the 26th December, 2014.