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Stats IQ: Performance of Lokpal

Context: According to data, since 2019-20, Lokpal received 8,703 complaints, out of which 5,981 complaints were disposed of.

Highlights of Performance of Lokpal

  • Lack of Conviction: Around 68% corruption complaints against public functionaries were “disposed of” without any action in the past four years.
  • Poor Investigation: Only three complaints were fully investigated, and 36 complaints were at a preliminary stage.
  • Formatting Error: Nearly 90% complaints were not “in the prescribed format”.
    • In 2022-23, as many as 2,760 complaints were received, out of which only 242 were in the prescribed format.

Parliamentary Panel Recommendations

  • It has asked Lokpal to act as an enabler rather than an inhibitor.
  • Not to reject genuine complaints merely on technical grounds that a complaint was not in the prescribed format.
  • Filling Vacancies: Panel highlighted vacancies in the Lokpal and sought details of steps taken to fill them up.
    • Sanctioned strength of the Lokpal is 82 posts against which 32 are in position.
  • Constituting prosecution wing: According to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, the Lokpal shall, by notification, constitute a prosecution wing headed by the Director of Prosecution to prosecute guilty public servants.
  • Inquiry Wing: Lokpal shall constitute an inquiry wing headed by the Director of Inquiry for the purpose of conducting a preliminary inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

About Lokpal

  • It is a statutory, multimember body, made up of one chairperson and maximum of 8 members.
  • Eligibility: The person who is to be appointed as the chairperson of the Lokpal should be either the former Chief Justice of India Or the former Judge of Supreme Court Or an eminent person with impeccable integrity and outstanding ability.
    • Members are appointed by the president on the recommendation of a selection committee.

Jurisdiction of Lokpal

  • The jurisdiction of the Lokpal will include the Prime Minister except on allegations of corruption relating to international relations, security, the public order, atomic energy and space.
  • Group A, B, C or D officers defined as such under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 will be covered under the Lokpal but any corruption complaint against Group A and B officers will come to the Lokpal after enquiry.

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