February 29, 2016

Lokayukta - Definition, Authority, Appointment, Roles & Shortcomings -Explained

‘Lokayukta’ has been making news in the recent weeks. Be it in the coverage about the appointment of Retired Justice R.A. Mehta as the authority of Gujarat Lokayukta or in the news about the investigation of corruption charges against Karnataka’s deputy chief minister K.S. Eshwarappa. We also heard this word quite often during the debate on Lokpal bill in 2011. But Lokayukta is not a new concept; it was mooted in 1966, when the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by Morarji Desai submitted a proposal for Lokayukta as an anti-corruption body in every State.

What/who is Lokayukta?

The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority orombudsman (An ombudsman is an official, appointed by the government or by parliament to represent the interests of the public). He works along with the Income Tax Department and the Anti Corruption Bureau. The Lokayukta (sometimes referred to the institution itself) investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.

Which are the States that have this authority?

As on 2015, Only 19 Indian States have Lokayukta (How many states have Lokayuktas in India?) .Maharashtra was the first State to introduce the institution of Lokayukta in 1971. There are no Lokayuktas in Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal. The process to set up Lokayukta in Goa is in progress.


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