- What is the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013?
- The Appointment Process for the Lokpal and Lokayukta
- The Functions and Powers of the Lokpal and Lokayukta
- Difference between Lokpal and Lokayukta
- Removal and Suspension of the Chairperson and the members of the Lokpal
- FAQ’s about Lokpal and Lokayuktas
- What is the limitation period for filing complaints under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013?
- What is the time limit within which the Lokpal shall dispose of a complaint of alleged corruption against public servants?
- What is the tenure of the Lokpal to be in the office?
- What is the tenure of the Lokpal to be in the office?
- Who is the present time Lokpal?
- What is the tenure of a Lokayukta in Maharashtra?
- Who is the Lokayukta of Maharashtra?
What is the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013?
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is an act that provides for the establishment of the Lokpal (Ombudsman) at the central level and the Lokayuktas ( State Ombudsman) at the state level. The objective of this act is to promote transparency and accountability in the functioning of public officials. It is an anti-corruption law. Lokpal and Lokayukta play an important role in mitigating the risk of corruption by the public servants at the central and the state level respectively.
This act was passed by the Parliament of India on 18 December 2013. It received the assent of the President of India on 1 January 2014 and came into force on 16 January 2014.
The act provides for the establishment of a three-member panel, which is headed by a Chairperson, to be appointed by the President of India. The other members of this panel will be selected by a Selection Committee.
The act also provides for setting up an institution known as Lokpal, which will be responsible for handling complaints relating to corruption against public servants. The act further provides for setting up an institution known as Lokayukta, which will be responsible for handling complaints relating to corruption against public servants at the state level.
The Different Parts of the Act
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was enacted in 2013 to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in States. The Act envisages a three-tier architecture for the redressal of citizens’ grievances, namely, (i) at the level of Central Government ministries/departments/public sector undertakings (PSUs), (ii) through Lokpal at the Centre, and (iii) through Lokayukta in States.
The grievance redressal mechanism provided under the Act is as follows:
(i) Every ministry/department/PSU shall designate a senior officer, not below the rank of Joint Secretary, as Central Public Information Officer (CPIO). The CPIOs shall be responsible for receiving and entertaining complaints from aggrieved persons with regard to obtaining information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
(ii) The complainant may approach the CPIO either in person or through electronic means. In case the complaint is not redressed by the CPIO within 30 days, it may be forwarded to the next higher authority, i.e., Head of Ministry/Department/Public Sector Undertaking (HOM/DoPT). The HOM/DoPT shall dispose of such complaint within 60 days from the date of receipt.
(iii) If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of HOM/DoPT, he/she may approach Lokpal at the Centre.
The Appointment Process for the Lokpal and Lokayukta
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 provides for the establishment of the Office of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in States. The selection of the Chairperson and members of both these institutions is through a two-stage process involving preliminary screening by a Search Committee and selection by a Selection Committee.
The Search Committee for the Lokpal comprises the Prime Minister as its Chairperson, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, one Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court Judge nominated by him/her, one High Court Judge nominated by the Chief Justice of India, one eminent jurist nominated by the President and one eminent person having knowledge of public administration, finance or management as nominated by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister.
The Selection Committee for appointment to posts in both Lokpal and Lokayukta comprises Prime Minister as its Chairperson, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice or a sitting Supreme Court Judge nominated by him/her, Chief Justice of High Court where vacancy is to be filled.
The appointment to these posts shall be made by the President on the recommendations of such Selection Committees.
The Functions and Powers of the Lokpal and Lokayukta
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 provides for the establishment of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in States. The following are the functions and powers of the Lokpal:
(i) to receive complaints of corruption from any member of public;
(ii) to investigate such complaints and take action against the guilty;
(iii) to conduct inquiries into complaints suo moto or on a reference from any authority;
(iv) to recommend measures for prevention of corruption; and
(v) to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by law.
Mandatory functions of a Lokpal
- Lokpal is to present an annual work report to the President
- It is then to be laid in both Houses of Parliament
- No report has been submitted since Lokpal was appointed in 2019. Reference- studyiq.com
Procedure of making complaint to the Lokpal and Lokayukta
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act provides for the establishment of the Lokpal at the Centre and the Lokayukta in each State. The Act envisages a three-tier structure for Complaint redressal mechanism, namely, (i) at the level of office of Lokpal/ Lokayukta, (ii) at the level of Investigation Wing of Lokpal/Lokayukta and (iii) at appellate stage.
DECLARATION OF ASSETS. (Section 44 of The Lokpal And Lokayuktas Act, 2013 )
1. Every public servant shall make a declaration of his assets and liabilities in the
manner as provided by or under this Act.
(2) A public servant shall, within a period of thirty days from the date on which he
makes and subscribes an oath or affirmation to enter upon his office, furnish to the competent
authority the information relating to—
(a) the assets of which he, his spouse and his dependent children are, jointly or
severally, owners or beneficiaries;
(b) his liabilities and that of his spouse and his dependent children.
(3) A public servant holding his office as such, at the time of the commencement of this
Act, shall furnish information relating to such assets and liabilities, as referred to in sub-
section (2), to the competent authority within thirty days of the coming into force of this Act.
(4) Every public servant shall file with the competent authority, on or before the
31st July of every year, an annual return of such assets and liabilities, as referred to in
sub-section (2), as on the 31st March of that year.
(5) The information under sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) and annual return under
sub-section (4) shall be furnished to the competent authority in such form and in such
manner as may be prescribed.
(6) The competent authority in respect of each Ministry or Department shall ensure
that all such statements are published on the website of such Ministry or Department by
31st August of that year.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “dependent children” means sons
and daughters who have no separate means of earning and are wholly dependent on public servant for their livelihood.
Difference between Lokpal and Lokayukta
|Meaning||Lokpal is a body functioning against corruption at central level.||Lokayukta is a body functioning against corruption at state level.|
|Members||It comprises of maximum 8 members and 1 Chairperson.||It comprises of maximum 3 members and 1 Chairperson.|
|Appointment||Lokpal is appointed by the President.||Lokayukta is appointed by the Governor.|
|Jurisdiction ( Section 14 of The Lokpal And Lokayuktas Act, 2013 )||Lokpal shall investigate complaints against all the members of Parliament and Central Government employees.||Lokayukta shall investigate complaints against all the members of Legislative Assemblies and State Government employees.|
Removal and Suspension of the Chairperson and the members of the Lokpal
Section 37 of the Act, talks about the procedure and grounds of the Removal and Suspension of the Chairperson and the members of the Lokpal.
- The Lokpal shall not inquire into any complaint made against the Chairperson or any Member.The Lokpal shall not inquire into any complaint made against the Chairperson or any Member.
- Subject to the provisions of sub-section (4 ), the Chairperson or any Member shall be removed from his office by order of the President on grounds of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by the President on a petition signed by at least one hundred Members of Parliament has, on an inquiry held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in that behalf, reported that the Chairperson or such Member, as the case may be, ought to be removed on such ground.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2 ), the President may, by order, remove from the office, the Chairperson or any Member if the Chairperson or such Member, as the case may be, (a) is adjudged an insolvent; or (b) engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or (c) is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
- The President may suspend from office the Chairperson or any Member in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court under sub-section (2 ), on receipt of the recommendation or interim order made by the Supreme Court in this regard until the President has passed orders on receipt of the final report of the Supreme Court on such reference.
- If the Chairperson or any Member is, or becomes, in any way concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the Government of India or the Government of a State or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit or emolument arising there from otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company, he shall, for the purposes of sub-section (2 ), be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is a landmark act that seeks to establish the office of the Lokpal in India. The office of the Lokpal will provide a mechanism for citizens to lodge complaints against corruption by public servants. This act is an important step in the fight against corruption in India.
FAQ’s about Lokpal and Lokayuktas
What is the limitation period for filing complaints under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013?
Limitation period- In terms of provisions under Section 53, of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, a complaint cannot be made after the expiry of seven years from the date on which the offence mentioned in the complaint is alleged to have been committed.
What is the time limit within which the Lokpal shall dispose of a complaint of alleged corruption against public servants?
Within 30 days after receiving the complaint.
What is the tenure of the Lokpal to be in the office?
As per section 6 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,2013, the Chairperson and every member of the Lokpal shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he/she enters upon his/her office or until he/she attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.
What is the tenure of the Lokpal to be in the office?
In most of the states, the term of office fixed for lokayukta is of 5 years duration or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. He is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.
Who is the present time Lokpal?
Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Member (Judicial) has been authorised to act as the Chairperson, Lokpal with effect from 28th May,2022.
What is the tenure of a Lokayukta in Maharashtra?
The tenure of Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta in Maharashtra is 5 years from the date of appointment.
Who is the Lokayukta of Maharashtra?
Justice Vidyasagar M Kanade, a Retired judge of Bombay High Court is the present Lokayukta of Maharashtra. He was appointed as the Lokayukta on 19th August, 2021.