india

Plea for review of order will not be allowed: Lokpal

Citing absence of provision in a law governing it, the Lokpal has said that no appeal or request from complainants for review of an order passed by it will be entertained.

The move comes after the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal noticed some instances of complainants sending request for appeal, review or reconsideration of an order passed by it.

“It is mentioned that there is no provision in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 for appeal, review or reconsideration of an order passed by a bench of the Lokpal of India. It is hereby informed to all concerned that no appeal or request for review/reconsideration of an order will be entertained by the Lokpal of India,” the Lokpal said in a notice.

This matter was also deliberated upon by a parliamentary committee that had in March asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to explore the feasibility of amending relevant laws so as to confer powers on the Lokpal to reconsider and review its orders.

The Lokpal had apprised the committee that it has requested the DoPT to take necessary action to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act at an appropriate stage for including the power to review the orders passed by it.

“The Committee recommends DoPT to explore the feasibility of amending the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act so as to confer on Lokpal the power to reconsider and review its orders,” said the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice in its 106th report on Demands for Grants (2021-22) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

A committee formed by Lokpal chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, comprising three Lokpal members — Justice Abhilasha Kumari, D K Jain and I P Gautam — to look into the aspect of recommending a policy regarding requests for a review of an order passed by the bench had submitted its report on October 6, 2020.

In its report, the committee had said that the central government may be requested to consider the inclusion of power of review in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act.

Civil rights activist Ajay Dubey asked the government to consider amending the Lokpal Act to incorporate provisions of review or reconsideration of decisions passed by the anti-corruption ombudsman.

“The Centre should consider amending the Lokpal Act to have provisions of review of an order passed by the Lokpal,” he said.

The Lokpal is the apex body to inquire into and investigate allegations of corruption against public functionaries, including the prime minister.

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