Delhi's Janlokpal to have attachment powers

Sending a strong message to bureaucrats, the Delhi government has made a provision in the proposed Janlokpal Bill under which the ombudsman will have powers to confiscate and attach properties of officials involved in corrupt acts.

The Janlokpal will have powers of a civil court for discharge of its functions and may attach or confiscate assets gained by a public servant through the acts of corruption.

The Aam Admi Party government said that a person who files false complaint will be punished with rigorous imprisonment, which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or with both.

According to the bill, the Janlokpal can also constitute a prosecution wing and appoint a Director of Prosecution and such other officers and employees to assist the Director of Prosecution for the purpose of prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint made under this Act.

"The Janlokpal will have powers to confiscate and attach properties of officials involved in corrupt acts. It can sentence someone to life imprisonment," deputy CM Manish Sisodia said while tabling the bill in the house.

After the approval of the Janlokpal, the Director of Prosecution shall file a case before the special court and take all necessary steps in respect of the prosecution of the public servants in relation to any offence punishable under this act.

"Janlokpal will also have powers to the appropriate government or authority for the transfer or suspension of any public servant, named in corruption cases, from the post held by him," said a senior government official.

The official also said that the bill also proposes higher punishment for a public servant holding higher rank thereby becoming an exemplary ensuring accountability and responsibility.

"In case of wilful or malicious false complaints there is provisions of imprisonment or fine or both, Janlokpal will file a case in court for false complaint and court has to uphold it as false case for punishment. False complaints will also be decided by the judiciary," the bill stated.