Sunday, 11 December 2016

Lokpal Advisory

Lokpal Advisory

  • GOI provides Interim Relief as promised 
  • The issue has not been resolved conclusively 
  • The voluntary sector, through its networks like CAP & VANI as also industry bodies like CII should continue their advocacy with the government

For almost the past six months, CAP along with other sector and industry networks like VANI and CII has been persuading the Government of India to implement changes in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 so that the definition of “Public Servant” does not negatively impact those who voluntarily serve the nonprofit sector in a fiduciary capacity.

We are hoping that in good time the GOI will amend the 2013 Act and remove all ambiguities. However, we should all feel grateful that interim relief has come our way, as promised, indefinitely extending the deadline for the disclosure requirement clause under the Act.

Here is the link to the Office Memorandum, dated December 8, 2016, issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions:

What is the current status?

1)     Due to the amendment made to Section 44 of the Lokpal Act, by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Act, 2016 the Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and the Limits for Exemption of Assets in Filing Returns) Rules, 2014 and all the amendments made thereto have become redundant.
2)     Given the amended Section 44 of the Lokpal Act, at present there is no requirement for public servants to file declarations of their assets and liabilities.
3)     The OM indicates that the Government is in the process of finalising a fresh set of rules which will be notified in the due course of time to prescribe the form, manner and timelines for filing of the declarations.

CAP’s Suggested Advisory:

1)     To reiterate, at present there is no requirement for public servants to file declarations of their assets and liabilities.
2)     Compliance under this law has been postponed indefinitely.
3)     Writs have been filed in certain courts by others. However, the legal team in Mumbai has suggested that we continue our dialogue with government, which has so far been quite responsive and positive.
4)     Continue to follow our Blog for updates.

 Noshir H Dadrawala

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