Lokpal



In India, the institution of Ombudsman (Swedish word meaning Commissioner) has given the name of Lokpal & use it as an anti-corruption institution. The Dictionary defines the Ombudsman as ‘an official to investigate complaints by individual against maladministration by public authorities. Lokpal is visualised as the country’s watch dog. The idea of creating Lokpal was first conceptualized in 1968 in 4th Lok Sabha. Thereafter in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998 & 2001 efforts were made to enact legislation to create the institution of Lokpal. The Bill received Parliaments assent on 1st Jan 2013.

The Bill as passed by Parliament creates a Lokpal at the Centre which shall consist of a chairperson & upto 8 members. Half of these members should have higher judicial experience &other half should have experience in public administration, finance, insurance &banking laws, anti corruption &vigilance. It also provides that half the members of Lokpal shall be from amongst SCs, STs, OBCs, minority &women.

The chairperson & members of Lokpal shall be appointed by a Selection Committee consisting of PM, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India & an eminent jurist to be nominated by the President based on the recommendations of the other members of the Selection Committee.

The jurisdiction of Lokpal extends to the PM, Ministers, Current &former MPs & members of legislative assemblies, government employees &employees of companies funded or controlled by the central or state government.

It specifies a time limit of 60 days for completion of inquiry & 6 months for completion of investigation by CBI.