Context: The Karnataka Lokayukta has seized a heavy sum of unaccounted cash from a politician.

Understanding Lokayuktas

  • The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman at state level which deals with corruption and mal-administration complaints made by the general public.
    • An Ombudsman is generally regarded as a person who is appointed to protect citizens against any form of maladministration.
  • They are the state equivalents of the central Lokpal.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 provides for the establishment of Lokpal at the center; and Lokayuktas at the state levels to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, and for related matters.
    • Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 says, “Every state shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta for the State, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State Legislature, to deal with complaints relating to corruption against certain public functionaries, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act.”
  • Even much before the enactment of the Act, many states in India had already setup the institutions of Lokayuktas.

The Origin and Evolution of the office of Lokayukta

The office of Lokayukta

Organizational Structure
  • The structure of Lokayukta does not follow a uniform pattern in all the states.
  • Some states such as Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have created the Lokayukta as well as Up-Lokayukta, while some others like Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have created only the Lokayukta.
  • In states, the Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta are appointed by the Governor.
  • At the time of appointment, the Governor, generally, consults the Chief Justice of the State High Court, and Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly.
  • For the Lokayukta, judicial qualifications are prescribed in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and Karnataka.
  • However, no specific qualifications are prescribed in the states of Bihar and Rajasthan.
Term of office
  • The term of office fixed for Lokayukta in majority of states, is of five years duration or 70 years (Himachal Pradesh) of age, whichever is earlier; and the Lokayukta is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.
  • At the state level, there is no uniformity in case of the jurisdiction of Lokayukta. In this regard:
  • The Chief Minister is included within the jurisdiction of Lokayukta in Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, while s/he is excluded from the purview of Lokayukta in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.
  • Ministers and higher civil servants are included in the purview of Lokayukta in majority of states. However, the Maharashtra has also included former ministers and civil servants.
  • Members of the state legislatures are included in the purview of Lokayukta in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Supervisory powers, that is, powers of superintendence over and to give direction regarding matters referred for preliminary inquiry or investigation;
  • Power of Search and seizure.
  • Power of civil court in certain cases.
  • Power to utilize services of officers of the State Government.
  • Power of provisional attachment of assets.
  • Power related to confiscation of assets, proceeds, receipts and benefits arisen or procured by means of corruption, in special circumstances;
  • Power to recommend transfer or suspension of public servant connected with allegation of corruption.
  • Accepts grievance against the accused person or body of persons, the Lokayukta provides the chance to the complainant for defending, after duly informing her/ him/them.
  • The Lokayukta carries out fair and impartial investigations, based on facts against the accused person by taking the assistance of special investigating agencies.
  • The Lokayukta presents consolidated report on performance, annually, to the Governor.

Sharing is caring!


Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!
download gms learning free app now