Finally! India got its first Lokpal!

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By admin March 19, 2019 18:13

Background

  • The term “Lokpal” was coined by Dr. L.M.Singhvi in 1963.
  • The first Jan Lokpal Bill was proposed by Adv Shanti Bhushan in 1968 and subsequently it was introduced in Parliament many times but never got clearance.
  • Anna Hazare launched a wide Jan Lokpal movement, a nationwide anti-corruption movement in 2011.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013 following the Jan Lokpal movement.
  • The government was prompted to make the selection after the Supreme Court set the February-end deadline.

Members of High Level Committee to Appoint Lokpal

  • Prime Minister of India
  • Chief Justice of India
  • Speaker of Lok Sabha
  • Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
  • Eminent Justice (Mukul Rohtagi in recent committee)

Delay in Appointment

  • The legislation came into force on January 16, 2014. But before the UPA could appoint a Lokpal, it was unseated by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance INDA) in the general election four months later.
  • Supreme Court has to intervene multiple times for its appointment.
  • Reason of delay in appointment – *Lack of political will, *Technical problems in the formation of committee as there were no Leader of Opposition, *Institutions and agencies like Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate are already present in India to check corruption and related issues in Government offices.

Lokpal Team

  • The Lokpal would consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members of which 50 per cent shall be judicial members.
  • 50 per cent of members of members of Lokpal shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.

Challenges

  • The recent incidences in CBI have again raised eyebrows if the Lokpal will be effective in a democracy like India.
  • India has a score of 40 and ranks 79 (in year 2016) in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). This shows that there is a need to check corruption in the nation strongly.
  • The jurisdiction powers of Lokpal are very wide. It is a body of 8 persons consisting of chairperson, judicial members and other persons. There removal will not be easy like the judges of Supreme Court of India.
  • Lokpal has powers to give directions to all the agencies in India like CBI, CVC, etc. They will work as an investigating agency, a prosecuting agency and shall have special courts.
  • Lokayukts are present in many states while many of the states still do not have the Lokayukts. The powers given to them relating to corruption, etc have not been up to the mark.

Conclusion

  • The appointment of Lokpal just few months before Lok Sabha Election is a suspicious but a welcome step.
  • Looking at the low ranking of India in Corruption on global level, there is a need to check the corruption by strong institutions.
  • But it shall function as independent from any political influence so that a proper system of checks-and -balance is maintained in the federal and democratic system of India.
admin
By admin March 19, 2019 18:13