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Archive for April, 2007

After politicos, babus put on notice now:Lokayukta, it comes under RTI Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on April 15, 2007

After politicos, babus put on notice now
By Bala Chauhan, DH News Service, Bangalore:
Lokayukta says that it is not just the elected representatives but also the bureaucrats who are duty-bound to declare their assets.

After going full blast against politicians who have failed to give timely or complete information on their assets and liabilities, the Lokayukta has trained its guns on the babus.

Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde told Deccan Herald that it is not just the elected representatives but also the bureaucrats, who are duty-bound to declare their assets.

“After assuming charge in August last year, I met the bureaucrats at Vidhana Soudha and asked them to file their assets and liabilities (A&L) before their heads of department, since this information can no longer be considered ‘private’ under the Right to Information Act,” said Justice Hegde.

“But only three officers — Jamdar, Anup Pujari and V P Baligar — have submitted the details. There’s a provision under their service rules that they need to file details of their A&L. I’ll have to check how many of them have done it so far,” he said.

Regarding serving ‘reminders’ on defaulting politicians, Justice Hegde said he thought it was “advisable to issue reminder notices to them on filing complete forms rather than give an ultimatum.”

‘Grace period’

“These were not statutory notices. We sent reminders to those politicians who had not filed a complete statement of assets and liabilities under Section 22 of the Lokayukta Act.

“As per this section, the elected representatives must also file A&L details pertaining to their dependent family members, in the prescribed format of Form Number 4, by June 30. They’ve been given a grace period of 60 days after which they can be prosecuted under Section 176, IPC,” Justice Hegde said.

Mens rea

“I could have chargesheeted them but Section 176 also stipulates that we ascertain mens rea (intention to commit an offence). Therefore, I thought it advisable to issue a reminder to them. We’ve given them time till April 21 to submit complete forms after which I’ll proceed against them.” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said he will not interfere if the Lokayukta takes action against defaulting politicians.


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