Corruption Challenges – Lokpal, POCA, etc

Lokpal

Note4Students

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.

Its history

  • 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.

Also read:

Explained: How Lokpal will form, function

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