The Lokayukta (also Lok Ayukta; lokāyukta, "civil commissioner") is the Indian Parliamentary Ombudsman, executed into power, through and for, each of the State Governments of India. It is brought into effect in a state after passing the Lokayukta Act in the respective state legislature, and a person of reputable background is nominated for the post. The post was created to quickly address the working of the government or its administration (public servants). Once appointed, Lokayukta cannot be dismissed or transferred by the government, and can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by the state assembly.[1][2][3][4]

The Administrative Reforms Commission for Redressal of Citizen's Grievances submitted its interim report to the prime minister in October 1966,[5] with recommendations to set up the Institution of Lokayukta in each of the States. The aim of this institution was to investigate complaints against administrative actions and to improve the standard of public administration in India. The existing systems to handle these issues, such as courts, departmental authorities, and other avenues, were deemed insufficient to deal with issues of corruption and other malpractices by public servants. Therefore, an alternative and efficient system was needed.

In 1968, the Government of India, on the basis of the Administrative Reforms Commission report and its recommendation, established the institution of Lokayukta on the pattern of the Ombudsman Institution and introduced a bill that provided for the appointment of Lok-Pal and its deputies at the national level and included Lokayukta for the states. Though the bill passed in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House). However, the bill formed the basis of legislation in several States for the creation of Lokayukta and the provisions of the Lokayukta Acts varied from one state to another. As a result of this, resolutions were adopted in the 1st All India Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Conference held in Shimla to maintain uniformity in the provisions of various Acts of the states, and the same was reiterated in the All India Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Conference held in Bhopal on 9 and 10 October 2010. It was resolved that uniformity in the Acts of all the States is necessary, and hence it was planned through a Central Legislation.

Naresh Kadyan moved public interest litigation before High Court and then contempt of court order petition for not appointing Lokayukta in Haryana. The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), headed by Morarji Desai, submitted a special interim report on "Problems of Redressal of Citizen's Grievances" in 1966. In this report, the ARC recommended the setting up of two special authorities designated as 'Lokpal' and 'Lokayukta' for the redressal of citizens' grievances.

The Lokayukta, along with the Income Tax Department and the Anti Corruption Bureau, mainly helps people publicise corruption among the politicians and government officials.[6] Many acts of the LokAyukta have resulted in criminal or other consequences for those charged.[7]

Maharashtra was the first state to introduce the institution of Lokayukta through The Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act in 1971.[8][9] This was followed by similar acts that were enacted by the states of Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Delhi. The powers of Lokayukta in each state are different, and efforts are being made to make them uniform.

Appointment edit

The Lokayukta is appointed by the Governor of the State, through nomination by its Chief Minister (in consensus with Chief justice of the State High Court, Leaders of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Legislative Council). Once appointed, Lokayukta can not be dismissed nor transferred by the government, and can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by the state assembly.[1] Any person who is a judge or a retired Chief Justice or a retired judge of the High Court is eligible to be appointed as Lokayukta.[10]

History edit

Timeline Sequence of Events
1963 Concept was first considered during a parliamentary discussion on budgetary allocation for the Law ministry.[11]
1966 Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Late Shri.Morarji Desai gives its first report on the problems of addressing citizens' grievances against the administration. The report recommends the establishment of the Lokayukta and the Lokpal institutions at the State and the Central Governments to investigate grievances against the governments and public servants. It also recommends that it act as an independent entity.[12][11]
1968 Lokpal Bill first introduced into the parliament but is not passed. (Eight more unsuccessful attempts were made between 1968 and 2011).
The State of Orissa passed the bill, but is able to establish this post only later in 1983.[11][8]
1971 Maharashtra passes the bill in its assembly successfully.[8]
1972 Maharashtra implements this post, bringing it into effect on 25 October 1972, becoming the first ever government in India to establish the Lokayukta.[8]
1983 Orissa establishes the office of the Lokayukta (Act passed in 1971).[8]
Few other states follow
2002 M. N. Venkatachaliah heads a commission recommending the appointment of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas; The commission also recommends that the PM be kept out of its authority.[11]
2005 The second Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Veerappa Moily, presses for establishing Lokpal without delay.[11]
2011 Anna Hazare leads India's anti corruption movement demanding that the Indian Government immediately address the issue of corruption. Presses for a Lokpal.[13]

Government forms a committee of Ministers headed by Pranab Mukherjee to examine the Lokpal bill and make recommendations for its implementation.[11]

2013 Lokpal Bill passes in both houses of the Parliament, and formally becomes the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act.[11]
2016 Government of India makes amendments to the Act mandating public officers, their spouses and dependent children to declare and file their Assets & Liabilities every year.[14]

In Indian states edit

Lokayukta/Lokayog Incumbent
Andhra Pradesh Lokayukta[15] Justice P. Lakshman Reddy
Arunachal Pradesh Lokayukta[15] Justice Prashanta Kumar Saikia[16]
Assam Lokayukta[17] Justice C. R. Sarma[18]
Bihar Lokayukta[19] Justice Shyam Kishore Sharma
Chhattisgarh Lokayog[20] T. P. Sharma
Delhi Lokayukta[21] Justice Harish Chandra Mishra
Goa Lokayukta[22] Justice Prafulla Kumar Mishra
Gujarat Lokayukta[23] Justice Rajesh Shukla
Haryana Lokayukta[24] Hari Pal Verma[25]
Himachal Pradesh Lokayukta[26] C. B. Barowalia
Jharkhand Lokayukta[27] Justice D. N. Upadhyay
Karnataka Lokayukta[28] Justice P. Vishwanatha Shetty (Lokayukta) [29] Justice Narayanappa Ananda (Upa-Lokayukta) Retd. High Court Judge B S Patil
Kerala Lokayukta[30] Justice Cyriac Joseph (Lokayukta), Justice A. K. Basheer (Upa-Lokayukta), Justice Babu Mathew P. Joseph (Upa-Lokayukta)
Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta[31] Justice Naresh Kumar Gupta
Maharashtra Lokayukta[32]

Sanjay Bhatia (Upa-Lokayukta and Lokayukta-in-Charge)[33][34]

Manipur Lokayukta[35] Justice (Retd.) T. Nandakumar Singh
Meghalaya Lokayukta[36] Pranoy Kumar Musahary
Mizoram Lokayukta[37] C. Lalsawta
Nagaland Lokayukta[38] Justice Uma Nath Singh
Odisha Lokayukta[39] Justice Ajit Singh
Punjab Lokayukta[40] Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma
Rajasthan Lokayukta[41] Justice Pratap Krishna Lohara
Sikkim Lokayukta[42] Justice Anand Prakash Subba
Tamil Nadu Lokayukta[43] P. Devadass
Telangana Lokayukta[44] Justice (Retd.) C. V. Ramulu
Tripura Lokayukta[45] Justice Subal Baidya
Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta[46] Justice Sanjay Mishra
Uttarakhand Lokayukta[47] Vacant
West Bengal Lokayukta[48] Justice Ashim Kumar Roy

There are no Lokayuktas in Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry. Lokayukta was enacted in Tamil Nadu on 13 July 2018[49] and was established on 13 November 2018.[50] The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly passed a Lokayukta bill on 4 March 2014.[51][52] The Mizoram Assembly passed a Lokayukta Bill in March 2019[53]

Roles edit

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 makes it compulsory for each state to appoint Lokayukta, similar to Lokpal, at the central level for investigation into complaints of corruption against government officers in public offices.[54] As per the Act, the institution should have both judicial and non-judicial members. Lokayukta investigates cases of corruption committed at the state level[5] and, once proven, recommends action.

The institution of Lokpal has not yet been created at the centre,[5] although efforts have been made since 1959. Meanwhile, Lokayuktas/Lokpal have been established by many states through state legislation. They provide for inquiry/investigation into complaints of corruption against public servants.[5] To keep the powers of Lokayukta neutral and non-biased, provision for fixed tenure is made.[5]

Constitutional Amendment for Effectiveness edit

An amendment to the Constitution has been proposed to implement the Lokayukta uniformly across Indian states. The proposed changes will make the institution of Lokayukta uniform across the country as a three-member body, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or high court chief justice[5] and comprising the state vigilance commissioner and a jurist or an eminent administrator as other members.[55]

Reforms edit

In November 2012, after the conclusion of the 11th All India Lokayukta Conference, as many as 16 Lokayuktas sent many recommendations to the Government of India. The recommendations were:[56]

  • Make Lokayukta the nodal agency for receiving all corruption complaints.[56]
  • Accord Lokayukta jurisdiction over State-level probe agencies.[56]
  • Bring bureaucrats under the ambit of the Lokayuktas.[57]
  • Accord powers of search and seizure and powers to initiate contempt proceedings.[57]
  • Provide Lokayukta administrative and financial autonomy.[57]
  • Bring Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) funded by the government under Lokayukta's jurisdiction.[57]

Impact edit

The report of Retd. Justice Santosh Hegde, the then incumbent Lokayukta of Karnataka (2011), resulted in the unseating of the Chief Minister of Karnataka from his position.[58][59]

See also edit

References edit

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  2. ^ "Karnataka Lokayukta". National Informatics Center. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Karnataka Anti-Corruption Laws (Acts)". National Informatics Center. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Karnataka: Speaker accepts impeachment motion against Lokayukta". The Indian Express. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "What is a Lokayukta?". 12 July 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  6. ^ "A watchdog without teeth". Indian Express. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Fed up with corruption, Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde resigns". Daily News and Analysis. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Lokayukta". Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Maharashtra yet to implement 2013 Lokayukta Act: RTI". The Economic Times. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Decks for appointment of Lokayukta cleared". The Hindu. 27 July 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Deepalakshmi, K. (27 April 2017). "The long wait for a Lokpal". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Karnataka Lokayukta, Government of Karnataka". Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  13. ^ Khanna, Anuja, Pretika (13 December 2019). "Anti-corruption movement a watershed moment in India". mint. Retrieved 17 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016". PRS Legislative Research. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Justice PK Saikia sworn-in as Arunachal Lokayukta chief". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 27 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Powers and Functions of Lokayukta/Upa-Lokayukta | Home & Political | Government Of Assam, India". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Act".
  20. ^ "Chhattisgarh State - LOK AAYOG ADHYADESH". Archived from the original on 20 November 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
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  22. ^ "THE GOA LOKAYUKTA ACT, 2011" (PDF). 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2022.
  23. ^ "Laws of India : The Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986". Archived from the original on 7 May 2023.
  24. ^ "Haryana Govt". Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  25. ^ Sura, Ajay (10 September 2021). "Haryana: Former HC judge Hari Pal Verma appointed Lokayukta | Chandigarh News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  26. ^ "THE HIMACHAL PRADESH LOKAYUKTA ACT, 1983" (PDF). 1983. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 May 2023.
  27. ^ "Home:Jharkhand Lokayukta". Lokayukta Jharkhand. Archived from the original on 13 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Karnataka Lokayukta Act". Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  29. ^ "Finally, Karnataka has a new Lokayukta: Vishwanath Shetty".
  30. ^ "Official Website of Kerala Lok Ayukta". Archived from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  31. ^ "THE MADHYA PRADESH ACT NO. 37 of 1981" (PDF). 15 October 1981. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2006.
  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ Mishra, Lalatendu (29 August 2020). "Sanjay Bhatia appointed State Upa-Lokayukta". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  34. ^ "About Maharashtra Lokayukta". Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  35. ^ "Finally Manipur got Lokayukta IT 20190621".
  36. ^ "First chairperson of Meghalaya Lokayukta sworn in". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 6 November 2018.
  37. ^ "C. Lalsawta appointed Mizoram's first Lokayukta chairman".
  38. ^ "Justice Uma Nath Singh takes oath as 1st Lokayukta of Nagaland". United News of India. 22 February 2019. Archived from the original on 7 May 2023.
  39. ^ "Laws of India : The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 1995".
  40. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ "Untitled Document". Archived from the original on 23 January 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  42. ^ "Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta sworn-in as Sikkim Lokayukta Chairperson". The Economic Times.
  43. ^ "Finally, Tamil Nadu Lokayukta constituted".
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  45. ^ "New Tripura Lokayukta assumes office". Business Standard India. 27 April 2017.
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  47. ^ Hindustan Times
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  57. ^ a b c d "Make Lokayukta nodal agency for all graft complaints". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
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