Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine
ETHICS AND MORALITY IN ADMINISTRATION
The Lokayukta (also Lok Ayukta) is an anti-corruption
ombudsman organization in the Indian states. 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.
In November 2012, after conclusion of the 11th All India Lokayukta
Conference, as many as 16 Lokayuktas sent many recommendations to the Govt of
India. The recommendations were:
- Make Lokayukta the nodal agency for receiving all corruption complaints.
- Accord Lokayukta jurisdiction over State-level probe agencies.
- Bring bureaucrats under the ambit of the Lokayuktas.
- Accord powers of search and seizure and powers to initiate contempt
- Provide Lokayukta administrative and financial autonomy.
- Bring Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) funded by the government
under Lokayukta's jurisdiction.
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 and comprising the state vigilance commissioner and a jurist or an
eminent administrator as other members.
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?
Only 19 Indian States have Lokayukta.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.
Karnataka’s Lokayukta is considered one of the strongest. N.
Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta of Karnataka, uncovered one of the biggest
mining scams (quantified at Rs.12, 228 crore) of the country in 2011. His
activism and strong evidences resulted in the then Chief Minister Yeddyurappa
being jailed for 21 days in October 2011.
There are no Lokayuktas inJammu and Kashmir, Manipur,
Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal. The
latest Lokayukta was established in Goa. On may 20th, 2014 Arunachal assembly
passed lokayukta bill.
Who is appointed as the Lokayukta?
The Lokayukta is usually a former High Court Chief Justice or former Supreme
Court judge and has a fixed tenure.
What are his roles?
Any citizen can make his/her complaints of corruption
directly to the Lokayukta against any government official or elected
representative. Lokayukta’s power varies from State to State. In some States,
the Lokayukta inquires into allegations against public functionaries including
Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs. While some has the power to investigate into
civil servants/bureaucrats, judiciary and police.
What are the shortcomings?
Lack of prosecution powers, adequate staff, funds and lack of independence
are some of the limitation of the Lokayukta.
In many States, the office of the Lokayukta is vacant. For
instance, Gujarat did not have a lokayukta for eight years until Governor Kamla
Beniwal appointed Justice R.A. Mehta to the post. But the Narendra Modi
government challenged it at the Supreme Court and the court upheld the
appointment on January 2. Besides these, many cases are pending before the
How different is it from Lokpal?
The Administrative Reforms Commission, (1966-70), had recommended the
creation of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in the States. The Centre is
yet to get a Lokpal.
Source- The Hindu