The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act of 2013 established Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States.These organisations are statutory entities with no constitutional standing.
They act as a “ombudsman,” investigating charges of corruption against specific public officials and other relevant issues.The Lokayukta is generally a former Chief Justice of the High Court or a former Supreme Court judge with a defined term.
What the law is about
- The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act gives states the authority to create the Lokayukta by legislation to investigate charges of corruption against public officials.
- The Lokpal has the authority to investigate claims of corruption against the Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Group A, B, C, and D officers, and central government personnel.
- Following the completion of the inquiry, the Lokpal may file a case before the special court if the results reveal that the Prime Minister, Ministers, or Members of Parliament committed an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
- Some states have already formed Lokayuktas. Maharashtra, for example, in 1971, and Kerala in 1999.
- After consulting with the High Court Chief Justice, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Chairman of the Legislative Council, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, and the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, the Chief Minister appoints a Lokayukta. The Governor then makes the appointment.
- Once appointed, the Lokayukta cannot be fired or transferred by the administration and may only be removed by the state parliament approving an impeachment petition.
- Act says: “An Act to provide for the establishment of a body of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries”
- As a result, the Lokpal is envisioned as a body that will investigate claims of corruption.
- Section 14 of Kerala’s Lokayukta Act, which has since been changed, states that if the Lokayukta is satisfied that the allegation against the public servant is proven, he should not continue to maintain the position he now has.
- In other words, if the public servant is the Chief Minister or a Minister, he must retire immediately.
- It should be highlighted that such a provision does not exist in any of the state legislation or the Centre’s Lokpal Act.
- An investigating body does not have the legal jurisdiction to order a public official to resign based on its findings.
- The Chief Minister or a Minister serves at the discretion of the Governor (Article 164).
- No institution established by an Assembly statute, particularly an investigative body, can proclaim that its decision would be followed out by the Governor.
- This would be a violation of the Constitution.
- Political party office holders are included in the definition of a “public servant” under state legislation.
- The Lokayukta Act was designed to investigate cases of corruption involving public workers such as Ministers, MPs, and others who are covered by the Prevention of Corruption Act.
How to structure
- Give an intro about Lokayukta
- Explain major provisions of Lokayukta Act of 2013
- Analyse the challenges in implementing
- Suggest way forward