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Lokayukta and Lokpal

Lokayukta and Lokpal
Highlights

The Supreme Court on Friday directed Chief Secretaries of States to file an affidavit within two weeks explaining the steps taken to appoint a...

The Supreme Court on Friday directed Chief Secretaries of States to file an affidavit within two weeks explaining the steps taken to appoint a Lokayukta and also specify the reason for the delay. Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, mentions that every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, received Presidential assent on January 1, 2014 and came into force a fortnight later on January 16. However, the executive has not established a Lokpal yet.

The Lokpal is responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level while the Lokayukta performs the same function at the State level. Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any central investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by the ombudsman. A high-powered committee chaired by the PM will recommend selection of CBI director, under whose overall control will be the Directorate of Prosecution, which presently is under the Law Ministry.

Lokpal can call for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending. It has powers to sanction prosecution against public servants. The origin of the Lokayukta can be traced to the Ombudsmen in Scandinavian countries. The Administrative Reforms Commission, (1966-70), had recommended the creation of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in the States.

The Lokayukta is created as a statutory authority with a fixed tenure to enable it to discharge its functions independently and impartially. The person appointed is usually a former High Court Chief Justice or former Supreme Court judge. Members of the public can directly approach the Lokayukta with complaints of corruption, nepotism or any other form of mal-administration against any government official.

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