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LUCID MAINS CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018

  1. LOKAYUKTA

RECENTLY IN NEWS?

The Lokayukta in Karnataka very recently raised several questions before the Karnataka High Court on the legality of formation of an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) by the State government, by withdrawing the power granted to the Lokayukta to probe corruption cases. 

BACKGROUND?

  • In order to meet the long-standing demand to establish a mechanism for dealing complaints on corruption against certain public functionaries, including corruption at higher places, the government made a proposal in the name of LOKPAL BILL 2011.
  • Upon consideration of the recommendations of the standing committee the Government withdrew the Lokpal bill 2011 and introduced a new comprehensive LOKPAL and LOKAYUKTA BILL 2011. To establish the institutions LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in the state level.
  • The LOKPAL and LOKAYUKTA BILL 2011 was passed with certain amendments (116th Amendment bill), but did not get passed with requisite majority.
  • Later the bill passed by both the houses got assent from the president in 2014.

v So Lokayukta is an institution to deal with the complaints on corruption in the state level.

v It was first established in Maharashtra in 1971(even before the act came into force)

v Till 2013, 21 States and one Union territory have established the institution of LOKAYUKTAS.

STRUCTURE?

The structure of the Lokayukta is not same in all the states. Some states like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh and Maharashtra have created Lokayuktas and Upalokayukta. In some other states like Bihar,Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh they have created only Lokayukta. So there is no common pattern for this institute.

APPOINTMENT?

The Lokayukta and Upalokayukta are appointed by Governor of the state.

While appointing the governor in most of the states consults

  1. The chief justice of the state high court and;
  2. The leader of the opposition in the state legislative assembly.

TENURE?

In most of the states the term of office fixed for Lokayukta is of 5 years o 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. He /She is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF LOKAYUKTA?

Matters which may be investigated by the Lokayukta –

  • Subject to the provisions of the Act, the Lokayukta may investigate any action which is taken by or with the general or specific approval of 
  • chief minister,
  • a minister,
  • a member of the State legislature,
  • the Chairman,
  • Vice-Chairman or a member of an authority,
  • Board or a committee 

In any case where a complaint involving a grievance or an allegation is made in respect of such action.

  • Lokayukta may investigate any action taken by the Public Servant if it is referred by the State Government.
  • In the process of investigation, the Lokayukta deals with the issue of search warrant. For the said purpose, they have all the powers of a civil court which trying a suit under CPC, 1908 in respect of summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath, production of any document, received evidence of affidavits, getting any public record or copy from any court office etc.
  • The Lok Ayukta after investigation shall make a declaration with regard to the governor or chief minister of the state to the vacation of office of the said official.

PROBLEM: INEFFECTIVENESS

Lokayukta in Bihar sent recommendations to the government against eight public servants who had been found guilty of irregularities in the sale of materials.  And Under Lokayukta Act, the overnment should have asked the department concerned to take action against the errant officials and submit a report to the Lokayukta in three months. But the Bihar Government has completely ignored the findings of the Lokayukta