Separate division at Centre to deal with all works related to Lokpal
Amongst the last acts of UPA government has been the formation of a separate division to deal with all works related to the anti- corruption body, Lokpal. The division shall be headed by a Director-level officer and Anil Kumar V Patil has been appointed as the first Director of the Lokpal Division. The Lokpal division shall work under the Ministry of Personnel and is expected to aid in the activities related to the working of the Lokpal including handling of RTI applications and appeals. Nominations have been received from various individuals for the post of the chairperson and members of these bodies. The efforts by the UPA government to appoint the chairperson and members of the Lokpal failed following opposition by BJP.
Corruption was one of the focal points in the recent elections. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (also known as Lokpal) provides for the establishment of a Lokpal for the Centre and Lokayuktas for the states. They are intended to enquire into charges of corruption against public functionaries.
In February 2014, an eight-member search committee was formed - Justice (retd) KT Thomas (as chairperson), Kaki Madhava Rao (former IAS officer), Prof Meenakshi Gopinath (educationist), FS Nariman (legal luminary), ML Kumawat (former Director General of Border Security Force), HK Dua (senior journalist and Rajya Sabha member), SY Quraishi (former Chief Election Commissioner) and Prof Mrinal Miri (Rajya Sabha member) - to draw up a panel of persons for consideration by the Selection Committee headed by the Prime Minister for appointment of chairperson and members of the Lokpal. However, Justice KT Thomas and FS Nariman refused to be in the search committee.