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Lokpal disposed corruption complaints against public servants without any action

  • Published
    5th Apr, 2023
Context

Around 68% corruption complaints against public functionaries that landed with the Lokpal of India were “disposed off” without any action in the past four years, according to information provided by the parliamentary panel report.

About
  • On January 5 2023, the Lokpal of India has issued an order that complaints received by the office of the Lokpal of India that were not in the prescribed form would not be entertained at any level.
  • The Lokpal of India, the country’s first anti-corruption body instituted four years ago to investigate complaints against public functionaries, including the Prime Minister, submitted to a parliamentary panel that it has not prosecuted even a single person accused of graft till date.

Findings of the report:

  • Nearly 90% complaints were not in the prescribed format.
  • The parliamentary panel report was based on information of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), since 2019-20.
  • The anti-corruption body received 8,703 complaints, out of which 5,981 complaints were disposed of.
  • As many as 6,775 complaints were rejected for not being in the correct format.
  • The office informed that only three complaints were fully investigated, and 36 complaints were at a preliminary stage.
  • In 2022-23, as many as 2,760 complaints were received, out of which only 242 were in the prescribed format.
  • The Committee infers from the data provided by Lokpal that a large number of complaints are being disposed of on the ground that the complaint is not in the prescribed format.

Office of Lokpal:

  • Background:
    • The term "Lokpal" was coined by L.M.Singhvi in 1963.
    • The concept of a constitutional ombudsman was first proposed in parliament by Law Minister Ashoke Kumar Sen in the early 1960s.
    • The first Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) recommended the enacting of the Office of a Lokpal.
    • Forty five years after its first introduction and after ten failed attempts, the Lokpal Bill was finally enacted in India on 18 December 2013.
  • The Act was passed in 2013.
  • The country’s first Lokpal, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, was appointed on March 19, 2019 along with eight other members.

Justice Ghosh moved out of office in May 2022 after attaining 70 years of age and since then, Pradip Kumar Mohanty has been acting as the Chairperson of Lokpal.

Selection of Lokpal:

  • A search committee will prepare a panel of candidates, a selection committee will recommend names from among this panel, and the President will appoint these as members.
  • The Lokpal should consist of a chairperson and such number of members, not exceeding eight.
  • Criteria:
    • The selection process of other members is same as that of chairperson.
    • Of this 50% should be judicial members. At least 50% should be from SCs, STs, OBCs, Women or minorities.
  • Salaries, allowances and service conditions of the Lokpal chairperson will be the same as those for the Chief Justice of India; those for other members will be the same as those for a judge of the Supreme Court.
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