Fresh rules to prescribe the form and format for filing details of assets and liabilities by central government employees under the Lokpal Act are yet to be notified, the Department of Personnel and Training has said.
The declaration under the Lokpal law is in addition to similar ones filed by the employees under various service rules.
As per rules notified under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, every public servant was required to file asset details under Section 44 on March 31 every year or on or before July 31.
For 2014, the last date for filing the declaration was September 15. After several extensions, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) extended the deadline indefinitely on December 1, 2016, saying a new format and fresh set of rules were being finalised by the government in this regard.
Nearly six years after the announcement, the government is yet to notify the rules.
“Fresh rules to prescribe the form and manner for filing declarations as per amended provisions of Section 44 of the (Lokpal) Act are yet to be notified,” the DoPT said in response to an RTI query filed by this PTI journalist.
The DoPT’s 2016 order stated that there was no requirement for public servants to file declarations of assets and liabilities “now”.
“The government is in the process of finalising a fresh set of rules. The said rules will be notified in due course to prescribe the form, manner and timelines for filing of declaration of assets and liabilities by the public servants under the revised provision of the said (Lokpal) Act,” it had said.
All public servants will henceforth be required to file the declarations as may be prescribed by the fresh set of rules, the DoPT order added.
Anti-corruption activist Ajay Dubey said, “The government must ensure that all provisions of the Lokpal Act come into force as early as possible to check any possibility of graft.” Anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal came into being six years after the law was passed with the appointment of its first chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose in March 2019.
Justice Ghose completed his term in May this year and the Lokpal has been working without a regular chief for nearly four months now.
At present, there are six members in the Lokpal against the sanctioned strength of eight. Two posts of judicial members have been lying vacant for over two years.