The Lokpal is the country of India’s first and only institution of its sort. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 led to the establishment of the Lokpal, whose primary responsibility was to inquire about and look into cases of corruption involving Central-level officials and organisations. The Lokpal of India genuinely works to serve the public because it is solely dedicated to ensuring clean governance in India. The establishment of a commission to penalise acts of corruption is a crucial step because India is the secretariat member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
Laxmi Mall Singhvi, a member of parliament, coined the term “Lokpal” for the first time in 1963 during a discussion on grievance redressal procedures. A report produced by the Administrative Reforms Commissions under Morarji Desai suggested the establishment of the Lokayukta and Lokpal special authorities to address public complaints.
The Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act, passed in 1971, made Maharashtra the first state to implement the lokayukta system. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura do not currently have any Lokayuktas.
In 1968, the Lokpal Bill was first brought before the Lok Sabha. The draught that was used to create the 2013 edition was created in 2010. The Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988 is being put into practise by this bill. The bill was passed against the backdrop of the nation-shaking, massive anti-corruption demonstrations led by Anna Hazare.
The Lokpal is the country of India’s first and only institution of its sort. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 led to the establishment of the Lokpal, whose primary responsibility was to inquire about and look into cases of corruption involving Central-level officials and organisations.
The Lokpal of India genuinely works to serve the public because it is solely dedicated to ensuring clean governance in India. The establishment of a commission to penalise acts of corruption is a crucial step because India is the secretariat member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
According to the statute, the Lokpal panel must comprise a chairperson and a minimum of 8 members, of which 4 must be judges. To fully understand the regulations and eligibility requirements for the Lokpal and Lokayukta selection committee, carefully review the topics that are illustrated.
Eligibility Criteria for Lokpal Members
The Lok Pal chairperson ought to have held a position as India’s chief justice, a Supreme Court judge, or another illustrious figure with knowledge and experience in the fields of anti-corruption strategy, vigilance, public administration, law, and management.
The Lokpal judicial member ought to have been a Chief Justice of the High Court or a judge on the Supreme Court. Any distinguished individual with 25 years of experience in public administration, vigilance, and anti-corruption policies is eligible to serve as a member of the Lokpal. The scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and OBC, as well as women and minority classes, shall make up half of the Lokpal membership.
A selection committee made up of the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the head of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the CJI appoints all members of the Lokpal.
According to the legislation, Lokpal at the federal level and Lokayukta at the state level are supposed to be established in order to give the nation a road map for combating corruption at both levels. The key elements of the 2013 Lokpal and Lokayukta Act are listed below. The Lokpal has jurisdiction over members of parliament and employees of the central government in groups A, B, C, and D.
The Lokpal consists of a chairperson and up to 8 members, 50% of whom must be judges. A Lokpal will be made up of roughly 50% members from the SC, ST, OBC, and women’s communities. A selection committee made up of the Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition CJI, and the President chooses the chairperson and members of the Lokpal.
A search committee is formed to aid the selection committee in choosing the applicants, and its members must also be representative of women, minorities, SC, ST, and OBC groups. The Prime Minister is now governed by Lokpal, with subject matter exclusions and specialised procedures for addressing complaints against him or her.
Lokpal Power and Funtion
The Lokpal and Lokayukta have a variety of duties, including reducing corruption and bad administration and expelling them from government institutions. The Lokpal will have authority over all types of public employees, including all levels of government workers from groups A, B, and C.
Any investigative agency, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, is subject to control and direction by the Lokpal upon referral. A powerful committee headed by the prime minister will recommend the CBI director’s selection. A preliminary investigation may last for three months and may be prolonged by another three months.
The investigation period may be extended by an additional six months. The maximum sentence for corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act has changed and is now 10 years instead of 7. The Lokpal has authority over institutions that receive full or partial funding from the government, but it does not have authority over entities that the government adds. The Lokpal has authority over all organisations that receive grants from foreign sources in accordance with the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act with an annual limit of Rs. 10 lakh.
The Lokpal was a tool the Indian government employed to fight corruption.. But there are some flaws and gaps that need to be filled. The Lokpal selection procedure is biassed since there are no standards for determining who qualifies as a “eminent jurist” or “a person of integrity.” Lokpal’s acts cannot be challenged according to established processes.
According to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, corruption complaints cannot be submitted until seven years have passed after the accused offence was allegedly committed. Political party representatives make up the Lokpal appointment committee, and they attempt to influence Lokpal’s decisions.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 was passed by Parliament five years ago, but no Lokpal has been appointed since, which suggests a lack of political will. One of the gravest issues with the Lokpal is that the judiciary is not included in its ambit. The decisions made by Lokpal lack a legal foundation, and there are no effective means of challenging them.
In order to combat corruption, the institution of the ombudsman needs to be enhanced in terms of functional autonomy and workforce availability. The actual solution to issues is not Lokpal’s appointment. The administration should instead concentrate on eradicating the fundamental reasons why the populace is calling for a Lokpal. When a Lokpal or Lokayukta is nominated, there should be complete transparency since it will increase the likelihood that the appropriate person will be selected.Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.