Govt yet to assess staff requirement of proposed Lokpal

The government has so far not carried out a full assessment of the personnel that will be required for the proposed institution of Lokpal, a parliamentary panel has been informed.

Deposing before the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Lokpal Bill, the Ministry of Personnel has said that it has not done a full assessment of people that will be required to staff Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states.

Responding to an issue raised by a member in a recent meeting, the ministry’s representatives said it can carry out a preliminary exercise for the immediate staff requirement.

It said as is the case with institutions like CAT and CIC, the number of benches will depend on the number of cases Lokpal registers.

The Ministry of Personnel will be the administrative ministry for Lokpal.
The Ministry also said that bringing Group C and D category employees under the direct ambit of Lokpal would make it “very difficult” to service the ombudsman as the total number of government employees stood at 3.9 million. It said if the ambit of the proposed Lokpal “is increased further, then it may become unwieldy”. Deposing separately, the Law Ministry told the panel that the inclusion of Group C and D category employees was a matter of policy.

But their inclusion was “legally sustainable.” Constitutionally, too, there is “no objection”.
While in respect of Group A and B officers, complaints referred by the Lokpal to the CVC will be sent back to the ombudsman after the preliminary inquiry, in respect of Group C and D employees, the CVC will take action on its own, according to the Lokpal Bill passed in Lok Sabha last year.

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