Lokpal: Govt employees to file separate property returns

Lokpal: Govt employees to file separate property returns

All government employees have to file a revised declaration, information or return of their liabilities and those of spouse and their dependent children as per the mandatory requirement under the Lokpal regime, which came into being two days ago.

These declarations would be different from the existing such returns being filed by the government employees under various services rules.

The government has on Saturday notified the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014 which mandates "public servants who have filed the declarations, information and returns under the provisions of the (other) relevant rules shall file revised declarations, information or returns".

According to Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, a public servant shall, within a period of thirty days from the date on which he makes and subscribes an oath or affirmation to enter upon his office, furnish to the competent authority the information relating to the assets of which he, his spouse and his dependent children are, jointly or severally, owns.He is also mandated to declare his liabilities and that of his spouse and his dependent children, as per the Act.

An annual return of assets and liabilities as on March 31 of an year should be filed on or before July 31st of that year, it said. Such declarations have also to be published on ministries' or departments' websites by competent authorities by August 31 of that year.

Central government employees file such declarations under the All-India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, and the Railway Services (Conduct) Rules, 1966.

"Some concerns were raised on the implementation of the provisions of the Act. The order has been taken out to bring into the notice of all concerned that government employees will be filing revised returns, in additions to such declarations already been filed by them, under the Lokpal regime," a senior Ministry of Personnel official said.

The decision to bring an amendment in the Act was also taken after authorities found that amending other service rules would be difficult, she said.

The amendment of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 shall require consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India as per the constitutional provisions, and in case of the All-India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, the amendment or modification requires consultation with the states governments.

If an employee willfully or otherwise fails to willfully to declare his assets or gives misleading information in respect of such assets, then, such assets shall be presumed to be assets acquired by corrupt means, the Act says. There are about 50 lakh central government employees, including All India Service officials--IAS, IPS and IFS-- among others.
An All India Service officer is bound to file property returns of a year by January end of the following year, failing which promotion and empanelment to senior level postings may be denied.

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