Lokpal means defender of people or people’s friend. Lokpal is an anti-corruption Authority or body of ombudsman who represents the public interest in India. The word ombudsman is taken from Sweden.
First Lokpal in India has been officially formed on 19/3/2019. Lokpal is a Statutory Body constituted under the Lokpal & Lokayktas Act 2013.
The Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act was enacted on 18/12/2013, envisaged the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states. It took more than 5 yrs to form Lokpal in our country questioning the seriousness of Union Govt. on this issue.
Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in Independent India to inquire & investigate into allegations of corruption against public functionaries who fall within the scope and ambit of the act.
Headquarter of Lokpal is at New Delhi
Composition Lokpal consists of chairperson & 8 members. Four are judicial members and 4 are non-judicial members. At least 50% members must be from SC/ST/OBC/Minority/ Women.
The chairperson & members bring with them rich experience & probility which they have maintained in the public offices that they have held.
Qualification Lokpal is to headed by a chairperson who is or has been CJI/Judge of SC or an eminent person having special knowledge and expertise not less than 25 yrs in matters relating to anti corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance & banking, law & management.
Four Judicial members are from among CJI/Judge of SC or CJ of a High Court.
Four Non Judicial members are among senior govt. officials from All India Services / Central Services.
The first and present chairperson of Lokpal is Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh (a former judge of Supreme Court & former member of National Human Rights Commission).
Appointment Chairperson & members of Lokpal are appointed by President on recommendation of a committee headed by Prime Minister.
Tenure: Tenure of chairperson & members of Lokpal is 5 Yrs.
Jurisdiction: The Lokpal can inquire or initiate inquiry into allegations of corruption against sitting & former prime ministers. However it cannot exercise this power in allegations of corruption related to international relations, external & international security, public order, atomic energy & space. Such inquires will have to be considered by a full bench of Lokpal consisting of its chairperson & all members and approved by at least two third of its members.
The Lokpal will also have the power of inquiry into allegations of corruption against sitting & former Ministers & MPs but not in respect of anything said or a vote cast by them in Parliament or any house committee. It will also have jurisdiction over all classes of Public Servants.
Complaint under Lokpal Act should be in prescribed form and must pertain to an offence under the prevention of corruption Act 1988 against a public servant. There is no restriction on who can make such a complaint.
Lokayuktas in States
The chairperson & members of Lokayukt in a state are appointed by Governor of the state. Lokayukt can investigate into allegations related to corruption, favouritism, nepotism, abuse or misuse of position etc against CM, State Ministers, MLAs, Councilors, ex CM, ex State Ministers, ex MLs, ex Councilors etc.
Ms. Reva Khetrapal is the Lokayukt of Delhi