The office of the Lokpal is not functional, but, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been issuing various notifications including a notification asking all ‘public servants’ to file their returns in Appendix-I within the stipulated period “without fail to avoid any action as prescribed by the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013.”
MHA’s Order concludes with the statement: “The return for the FY 2015-16 is to be filed on or before 31.07.2016.
MHA has also created facility for online “filing of Annual returns of assets and liabilities under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 by individual of an association”
Mass messages seem to be going out from certain over enthusiastic networks to comply before the magic deadline of 31st July 2016.
CAP’s very motto is ‘Compliance Complete’, hence, don’t get us wrong … we are not telling anyone not to comply with the law. But, we all know that the deadline is very likely to get extended and within the next few days several Writ Petitions will be filed in various courts all across India. So why are some networks creating undue panic? Is there any penalty for non-filing or late filing? The answer is a categorical NO!
As a sector, let's stand together and with our heads held high. We are not against organizational transparency. We provide more of that to all our stakeholders than what government and the corporate sector together does not and that too at multiple levels! But, we are certainly against certain adverse provisions in the law and which are so vaguely and ambiguously drafted and violate various fundamental rights, including the right to privacy of private wealth.
Hence, we reiterate our earlier advisory: Keep prepared. Compile the required information and keep it ready, if you must. But, wait just a bit more till we can bring you news regarding the government extending the date for compliance and legal redress that many of us are simultaneously seeking across several states in India.
Noshir H. Dadrawala