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Haryana Lokayukta Act, 1997

Haryana Lokayukta Act, 1997
Haryana Lokayukta Act, 1997
Haryana Lokayukta Functions Inquiry and Investigation Rules, 1999
Haryana Lokpal (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1999
Haryana Lokayukta Act, 1997

Haryana Act No. 21 of 1998

hl380

Received the assent of the President of India on the 21st April, 1998 and was published in the Haryana Gazette, (Extra.), Legislative Supplement, Part I, dated November 9, 1998.
An Act to provide for the appointment and functions of a [Lokayukta] for inquiry and investigation into the allegations and grievances against Public servants and for matters connected therewith.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Haryana in the Forty-eighth year of the Republic of India as follows :-
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY 6

1. Short title, extent and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the Haryana [Lokayukta] Act, 1997.
(2) It extends to the whole of the State of Haryana.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Object & Reasons6

2. Definitions. – In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, –
(a) “allegation” in relation to a public servant means any affirmation that such public servant, –

(i) has knowingly and intentionally abused his position as such to obtain any undue gain or favour to himself or to any other person or to cause under harm to any other person;

(ii) was actuated in the discharge of his functions as such public servant by corrupt motives; or

(iii) is guilty of corruption; or

(iv) is in possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known source of income and such pecuniary resources or property held by the public servant personally or by any other member of his family or by some other person on his behalf.

(b) “competent authority” in relation to a complaint against a public servant means the Governor;

(c) “complaint” means a complaint wherein act of any allegation or grievance is alleged to have been committed by a public servant;

(d) “corruption” includes any act punishable under Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, or the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, or under any law for the time being in force for prevention of corruption;

(e) “Governor” means the Governor of the State of Haryana;

(f) “Grievance” means the claim by a person that a right to which he is entitled to is denied to him or is unreasonably delayed by the act of omission or commission of a public servant;

(g) “Lokpal means a person appointed as a Lokpal under Section 3;

(h) “Minister” means a member of the Council of Ministers, by whatever name called, for the State of Haryana, that is to say, Chief Minister, Cabinet Minister, Minister of State, Deputy Minister and shall also include the Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Parliamentary Secretary;

(i) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(j) “Public servant” includes a person defined in Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and also means a person, who is or has been, –

(i) a Minister;

(ii) a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Haryana, including the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of Haryana Legislative Assembly;

(iii) a Chairman, Vice-Chairman or member of the Board of Directors, by whatever name called, of a Government company within the meaning of section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956, in which not less than fifty one per cent of the paid up share capital is held by the State Government;

(iv) a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, or member, by whatever name called, of any statutory or non-statutory body incorporated, registered or constituted by the State Government;

(v) a Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor of a Municipal Corporation constituted or deemed to have been constituted by or under the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994;

(vi) a President, Vice-President of a Municipal Committee or Municipal Council constituted or deemed to have been constituted by or under the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973;

(vii) a President, Vice-President of a Zila Parishad and a Chairman, Vice-Chairman of a President Samiti constituted by or under the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994;

(viii) a President or Vice-President of any managing Committee of an apex Society incorporated or registered under the law relating to co-operative societies for the time being in force;

(ix) a President, Vice-President, Managing Director of the Board of Directors, of such other Cooperative Societies incorporated or registered by or under law relating to co-operative societies for the time being in force;

(x) a Vice-Chancellor or a Pro Vice-Chancellor of a university;

(k) “State” means the State of Haryana;

(l) “State Government” means the Government of the State of Haryana.

3. Appointment of Lokpal. – (1) For the purpose of conducting investigations in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the Governor shall, by warrant under his hand and seal, appoint a person to be known as the Lokpal :
Provided that the Lokpal shall be appointed on the advice of the Chief Minister who shall consult the Speaker of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India in case of appointment of a person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of the High Court, and Chief Justice of the concerned High Court in case of appointment of a person who is or has been a Judge of a High Court.
(2) Every person appointed as the Lokpal shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe, before the Governor, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath of affirmation in the form set out for the purpose in the Schedule.
4. Qualifications for Lokpal. – A person shall not be qualified for appointment as Lokpal, unless he is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice or a Judge of a High Court in India.
5. Lokpal to hold no other office. – The Lokpal shall not be a member of Parliament or member of the Legislature of any State and shall not hold any office of profit or trust or carry on any business or practice any profession or be connected with any political party and accordingly, before he enters upon his office shall, –
(a) if he is a member of Parliament or of the Legislature of any State, resign such membership; or

(b) if he holds any office of profit or trust, resign from such office; or

(c) if he is connected with any political party, sever his connection with it; or

(d) if he is carrying on any business, sever his connection (short of divesting himself of ownership) with the conduct and management of such business; or

(e) if he is practising any profession, suspend practice of such profession.

6. Term of office and other conditions of service of Lokpal. – (1) Every person appointed as the Lokpal shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier. He would be eligible for re-appointment, for another term of five years or less, as the case may be, within the said age limit at the discretion of the State Government :
Provided that –
(a) the Lokpal may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Governor, resign his office and such resignation shall be effective as soon as it is accepted; and

(b) the Lokpal may be removed from the office in the manner specified in Section 7.

(2) A vacancy occurring in the office of the Lokpal shall be filled in as soon as possible.
(3) On ceasing to hold office, the Lokpal shall be ineligible for further employment in any capacity under the State Government or any local authority, co-operative society, Government company, university, statutory corporation under the administrative control of the State Government.
(4) There shall be paid to the Lokpal such salary as may be prescribed.
(5) The allowances payable to, and other conditions of service of Lokpal shall be such as may be prescribed :
Provided that in prescribing the allowances payable to, and other conditions of service of the Lokpal regard shall be had to the allowances payable to and other conditions of service of a serving Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice or Judge of a High Court, as the case may be :
Provided further that the allowances payable and other conditions of service of the Lokpal shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
(6) The salaries and allowances payable to, or in respect of, the Lokpal shall be the expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State.
7. Removal of Lokpal. – (1) The Lokpal shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the Governor passed after an address by the Haryana Legislative Assembly, supported by a majority of the total membership of the Legislative Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members thereof, present and voting, has been presented to the Governor in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misconduct or incapacity.
(2) The procedure for the presentation of an address and for the investigation and proof of the misconduct or incapacity of the Lokpal under sub-section (1) shall be as provided in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, in relation to the removal of a Judge and, accordingly, the provisions of that Act shall, subject to necessary modifications, apply in relation to the removal of the Lokpal as they apply in relation to the removal of a Judge.
8. Matters which may be inquired into by Lokpal. – (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Lokpal may on receipt of a reference from Government or suo motu proceed to inquire into the allegations or the grievances made against a public servant.
(2) The Lokpal may inquire into any act or conduct of any person other than a public servant in so far as he considers it necessary so to do for the purpose of his enquiry into any allegation of misconduct against a public servant provided that the Lokpal shall give such a person a reasonable opportunity of being heard and to produce evidence in his defence.
9. Matters not subject to inquiry. – The Lokpal shall not inquire into any matter-
(a) in respect of which an inquiry has been ordered under the Public Servants (Inquiries) Act, 1850; or

(b) which is not connected with the discharge of functions as public servant of the person against whom allegation is made; or

(c) relating to an allegation against a public servant, if the complaint is made after expiration of a period of ten years from the date on which the conduct complained against is alleged to have been committed.

10. Provisions relating to complaints. – (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a complaint may be made under this Act to the Lokpal, –
(a) in case of grievance by the person aggrieved;

(b) in case of allegation by any person :

Provided that where the person aggrieved is dead or, is for any reason, unable to act for himself the complaint may be made by any person who in law represents his estate or, as the case may be, by any person permitted to act on his behalf.
(2) Every complaint involving an allegation or grievance shall be made in such form, and in such manner and shall be accompanied by such affidavit as may be prescribed. However, the Lokpal may dispense with such affidavit in any appropriate case for reasons to be recorded in writing.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, any letter written to the Lokpal by a person in police custody or in a jail or in any asylum or any other custodial place, shall be forwarded to the Lokpal unopened and without delay by the police officer or the person incharge of such jail, asylum or any other custodial place. If the Lokpal is satisfied, that it is necessary so to do, treat such letter as a complaint made in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2).
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any person who wilfully or maliciously makes any false complaint under this Act, shall, on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both and the Court may order that out of the amount of fine, such sum, as it may deem fit, be paid by way of compensation to the person against whom such complaint was made :
Provided that no Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Section except on a complaint made by or under the authority of the Lokpal:
Provided further that the complaint made by or under the authority of the Lokpal shall be exclusively tried by a Court of Sessions which may take cognizance of the offence in such complaint without the complaint being committed to it, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
11. Provision for holding preliminary inquiry. – The Lokpal on receipt of a complaint or in a case initiated on his own motion, may, before proceeding to investigate, such complaint or case, make such preliminary inquiry or direct any other person to make such preliminary inquiry as he deems fit for ascertaining whether there exists reasonable ground for conducting the investigation. If on such preliminary inquiry, he finds that there exists no such ground he shall record a finding to that effect and thereupon the matter shall be closed and the complainant shall be informed accordingly.
12. Procedure in respect of inquiry. – (1) Subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (2) the Lokpal shall devise his own procedure for conducting inquiry or investigation but in so doing ensure that the principles of natural justice are satisfied.
(2) Every inquiry under the Act shall, unless the Lokpal for reasons to be recorded in writing determines otherwise, be conducted in camera.
13. Power to summon record. – The Lokpal shall have the power to summon record of the State Government, local authority, corporation, Government company, society, university, any college affiliated to or constituent of a university or form any other person in connection with any inquiry or investigation, against public servant undertaken by him :
Provided that the State Government may withhold the production of any record or document on grounds of security or in public interest in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or the Indian Official Secrets Act, 1923.
14. Evidence. – (1) Subject to the provisions of this Section, for the purpose of any inquiry or investigation, the Lokpal or any person authorised by him in this behalf,-
(a) may require any public servant or any other person, who, in his opinion, is able to furnish information or produce documents relevant to such inquiry, to furnish any such information or produce any such document;

(b) may enter upon any land and survey, demarcate or prepare a map of the same;

(c) shall have all the powers of a civil Court while trying a suit under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following matters, namely :-

(i) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

(ii) requiring the discovery and production of any document;

(iii) receiving evidence on affidavit;

(iv) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any Court or office; and

(v) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents :

Provided that no person, without the prior permission of the appropriate Government shall be required or authorised by virtue of the provisions contained in this Act to furnish any such information or answer any such question or produce so much of any document as might involve the disclosure of any information or production of any document which is punishable under the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
(2) Any proceeding before the Lokpal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Section 193 and Section 228 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
15. Power to punish for contempt. – The Lokpal shall have the power and authority in respect of contempt of itself as the High Court in the matter of summon of record, serving attendance of witnesses and upholding of its dignity and, for this purpose the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, shall have effect subject to the modifications that –
(a) the reference therein, to a High Court shall be construed as including a reference to the Lokpal;

(b) sub-section (1) of Section 18 shall not apply to the Lokpal; and

(c) in proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 19 a reference to “Judicial Commissioner in any Union Territory”, shall be construed as including a reference to the Lokpal.

16. Reports of Lokpal. – (1) If, after inquiry in respect of, a complaint, the Lokpal is satisfied, –
(a) that no allegation or grievance has been substantiated either wholly or partly, he shall close the case and intimate the competent authority concerned accordingly;

(b) that all or any of the allegations or grievances have or has been substantial either wholly or partly, he shall, by report in writing, communicate, his findings, appropriate recommendations and suggestions to the competent authority and intimate the complainant and the public servant concerned about his having made the report.

(2) The competent authority shall cause the report to be examined and communicated to the Lokpal within three months of the date of receipt of the report, the action taken thereon.
(3) The Lokpal shall present to the Governor a consolidated annual report on the administration of this Act.
(4) The Governor shall cause to be laid on the table of the State Legislature a copy of the annual report referred to in sub-section (3) above within six months of its receipt alongwith an explanatory memorandum indicating the action taken thereon.
17. Staff of Lokpal. – (1) The Lokpal may appoint in consultation with the State Government, such officers and staff as he may consider appropriate for the discharge of functions under this Act.
(2) The categories of officers and staff who may be appointed under sub- section (1) above and their conditions of service shall be such as may be prescribed in consultation with the Lokpal.
18. Utilisation of services of other persons. – (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 17, the Lokpal may, in consultation with the State Government, for the purpose of conducting any inquiry or investigation under this Act, utilise the services of any officer or investigating agency of the State Government or for reasons to be recorded in writing, of any other person or agency.
(2) Any officer, agency or persons whose services have been sought under sub-section (1) may –
(a) summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examine him;

(b) require the production of any document; and

(c) requisition any public record or copy thereof from any office.

(3) The officer, agency or person whose services have been sought under sub- section (1) shall enquire into the matter and submit a report to the Lokpal within such period as may be specified by him in this behalf.
19. Secrecy information. – (1) Any information, obtained by the Lokpal or members of his staff in the course of, or for the purpose of, any inquiry or investigation under this Act and any evidence recorded or collected in connection with such information, shall be treated as confidential and, notwithstanding anything contained in the Evidence Act, 1872, no Court shall be entitled to compel the Lokpal or any public servant to give evidence relating to such information or produce the evidence so recorded or collected.
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to the disclosure of any information or particulars, –
(a) for purposes of the inquiry or any report to be made thereon or for any action or proceedings to be taken on such report; or

(b) for purposes of any proceedings for an offence under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, or an offence of giving or fabricating false evidence under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, or under sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 12 of this Act; or

(c) for such other purposes as may be prescribed.

20. Protection of action taken in good faith. – No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Lokpal or against any officer or employee, agency or person acting on his behalf in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.
21. Power to call for matters pending before State Government. – (1) Where the Lokpal decides to inquire into a complaint against a public servant, he may ascertain from the State Government whether any complaint containing substantially similar allegations against the said public servant is under investigation, he may call for the record thereof.
(2) If the Lokpal on examination of the record referred to in sub-section (1), decides to inquire into the matter himself, he shall inform the State Government accordingly and the complaint, wholly or partly, as the case may be, shall stand transferred to him for inquiry under the provisions of this Act.
(3) Whenever the Lokpal decides not to inquire into the matter himself he shall return the complaint to the State Government.
22. Saving. – The institution of any inquiry or proceedings under this Act shall be no bar to a person seeking a remedy available, under any other law, for the time being in force.
23. Power to make rules. – (1) The State Government may, by notification, in the Official Gazette make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) Every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be, after it is made, before the State Legislature while it is in session for a total period of ten days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions and if, before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the successive sessions aforesaid, the State Legislature agrees in making any modification in the rule or the State Legislature agrees that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.
Schedule

[See section 3(2)]

I,…………, having been appointed as Lokpal of Haryana, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and I will, duly and faithfully and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgment, perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection, bias or ill-will.

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