News Polity & Governance

LOKPAL

Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Indian Constitution, Political System, Governance [Paper-I]: Indian Constitution and its salient features, Public Policy and Governance

News

Chairperson of Lokpal, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose launched the logo of Lokpal.

About Lokpal

  • Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in independent India.
  • It was established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 to inquire and investigate into allegations of the corruption against public functionaries who fall within the scope and ambit of the above Act.
  • Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was appointed as the first Chairperson of the Lokpal. He was administered oath on 23rd March, 2019 by the President of India.
  • Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, which envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in States to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed on 2013.

Key Features

  • According to rules, there is provision for a chairperson and a maximum of eight members in the Lokpal panel. Among these, four need to be judicial members.
  • Not less than 50 per cent of the members of the Lokpal shall be from amongst the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women.
  • Upon selection, the chairperson and members shall hold office for a term of five years or till they attain 70 years of age.
  • The salary and allowances of the Chairperson will be same as that of the Chief Justice of India.
  • The members will be paid salary and allowances same as that of a judge of the Supreme Court.

Eligibilty for Lokpal Chairperson

  • For the appointment as the chairperson, a person who is or has been Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge is eligible to apply.
  • In addition, individuals with “impeccable integrity and outstanding ability” having special knowledge and expertise of not less than 25 years in matters related to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance and banking, and law and management are eligible to apply.
  • Those with less than 45 years of age are not eligible to apply.

Who are the public servants covered under Lokpal?

  • Lokpal has the jurisdiction to inquire into allegations of corruption against anyone who is or has been Prime Minister, or a Minister in the Union government, or a Member of Parliament, as well as officials of the Union government under Groups A, B, C and D.
  • Chairpersons, members, officers and directors of any board, corporation, society, trust or autonomous body either established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly funded by the Centre are also covered under Lokpal.
  • It also covers any society or trust or body that receives foreign contribution above 10 lakh.

Exceptions for PM

  • Lokpal cannot inquire into any corruption charge against the Prime Minister if the allegations are related to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space.
  • For inquiry into such cases, a full Bench of the Lokpal consisting of its chairperson and all members considers the initiation of a probe and at least two-thirds of the members should approve it.
[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express, Economic Times]

 

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