Proposed Lokpal equipped to attach property of corrupt persons

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Indian government
New Delhi, Jun 22: The proposed Lokpal will have powers to attach property of public servants accused of corruption and its investigating officers will have rights enjoyed by police like conducting searches, the government draft says.

The Lokpal and investigating officers authorised by it will have powers to attach property if the 00 has reason to believe that somebody is in possession of any proceeds of corruption. It can "provisionally" attach property for a period of 90 days.

According to the government draft if "any person is in possession of any proceeds of corruption, such person is accused of having committed an offence relating to corruption and such proceeds of offence are likely to be concealed, transfered or dealt with any manner which may result in frustrating any proceedings relating to confiscation of such proceeds of offence...provisionally attach such property for a period not exceeding 90 days..."

However, the Lokpal will have to inform the Special Court about the attachment and if the latter feels that the attached property was acquired through corrupt means, then it can confirm the attachment till completion of the proceedings.

If the public servant is convicted of corruption, the proceeds relatable to the offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act shall be confiscated and vest in the Central Government "free from any encumbrance or leasehold interest excluding any debt due to any bank or financial institution".

The government draft also says the Lokpal can authorise any officer of its investigation wing to search for and seize any document which shall be useful or relevant to any investigation conducted by it.

PTI

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