Lokpal

Lokayukta

It is well-known that the idea of establishment of Office of Lokpal and Lokayuktas came from Justitio Ombudsman, commonly called, Just Ombudsman, prevalent in European countries where such Office was established as far back as in early Nineteenth Century. However, the scope and power of the ombudsman is different in different countries. In India the desirability of the establishment of ombudsman type institution was repeatedly stressed in 1960s and thereafter. The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) in its Report on “Problems of Redressal of Citizens’ Grievances” submitted in October,1966, surveyed the existing remedial methods for redressal of the Citizens’ grievances and allegations in connection with administrative corruption, maladministration, delinquencies, lapses, failures, improprieties, and lack of desired standards of administrative probity, propriety and efficiency.

The ARC noted the widely prevalent corruption in the administration and administrative inefficiency and unresponsiveness to the public. It treated the problem at two levels: (i) lapses and improprieties committed by the Ministers and their immediate subordinates, that is, Secretaries to the Government and their aides; and (ii) the delinquencies committed by the lower administrative authorities and public servants. It is not necessary to state here, in detail, the recommendations of ARC. It would be sufficient to note that these recommendations were widely discussed and commented upon. Ultimately, the Government even tentatively accepted the same and Lokpal Bills were introduced in the Parliament a number of times but no enactment could be passed at that time. However, some progress was made at State level with the establishment of ombudsman type Lokayuktas in certain States including Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Delhi also passed, ultimately, Delhi Lokayukta and Upalokayukta Act, 1995.

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