From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
Mains level : Read the attached story
More than two years after the Lokpal came into being, the Centre is yet to appoint a director of inquiry for conducting a preliminary inquiry into graft complaints sent by the anti-corruption ombudsman.
Who is ‘Director of Inquiry’?
- According to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, there shall be a director of inquiry, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the GoI.
- He/ She shall be appointed by the Central government for conducting preliminary inquiries referred to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) by the Lokpal.
About the Lokpal
- The Lokpal, the apex body to inquire and investigate graft complaints against public functionaries, came into being with the appointment of its chairperson and members in March 2019.
- In March 2019, former SC judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was selected as the first head of the Lokpal.
Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
- The Lokpal Act 2013 is anti-corruption legislation that seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal.
- It seeks to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain important public functionaries including the PM, cabinet ministers, MPs, Group A officials of the Central Government etc.
- The Bill was introduced in the parliament following massive public protests led by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his associates.
- The Bill is one of the most widely discussed and debated Bills in India in recent times.
- The term Lokpal was coined in 1963 by Laxmi Mall Singhvi, a member of parliament during a parliamentary debate about grievance mechanisms.
- The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by Morarji Desai submitted an interim report on “Problems of Redressal of Citizen’s Grievances” in 1966.
- In this report, ARC recommended the creation of two special authorities designated as ‘Lokpal’ and ‘Lokayukta’ for redress of citizens’ grievances.
- Maharashtra was the first state to introduce Lokayukta through The Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act in 1971.