India’s apex anti-corruption body, Lokpal, has been paying Rs 50 lakh rent per month as it is occupying 12 rooms in government-owned Hotel Ashok as office space, reports the Hindustan Times. As per the report, an RTI reply has revealed that since the Lokpal is provisionally operating out of the five-star hotel, a total of Rs 3 crore 85 lakh has been paid for rent as fixed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT).
The Lokpal was set up in March this year after President Ramnath Kovind administered oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose on 23rd March, 2018. Since then, the Lokpal, operating out of Hotel Ashok, has disposed of 1,160 complaints till 31st October, 2019. Of these, over 1,000 complaints are heard by the Lokpal but preliminary inquiry has not been initiated in any of these complaints. None of these reports were reportedly worthy of inquiry.
The Lokpal deals with cases of corruption at the national level and inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries including the prime minister and other ministers and members of parliament.
HT report quotes Lokpal Justice PC Ghose saying that a permanent office space structure has been identified and the office will soon move there.