From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Online Lokpal
Mains level : Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
The (first) Chairperson, Lokpal of India, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose has inaugurated’ a digital Platform for Management of Complaints called ‘Lokpal-Online’.
- Lokpal-Online is an end-to-end digital solution for the management of complaints against public servants filed under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
- It is a web-based facility, which will quicken the disposal of complaints in an accountable, transparent and efficient manner with benefits to all stakeholders.
- It facilitates handling of complaints during the complete lifecycle of the Complaint, right from its filing to the final disposal.
- It aims to bring more transparency and efficiency to the complaint handling mechanism.
Notable features of Online-Lokpal
- Convenience to complainants for filing complaints online from anywhere anytime
- Information to the complainant about action on the complaint at every stage through e-mails and SMS
- Facility to the complainant to ascertain the status of complaint at anytime
- Identity of the complaint is kept confidential
- The CVC, CBI and other inquiry agencies can upload their reports directly on the ‘Lokpal-Online’ platform.
- Reminders to inquiry agencies through e-mails and SMS
- Generation of analytical reports as per requirement
- 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 a redress of citizens’ grievances.
- Maharashtra was the first state to introduce Lokayukta through The Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act in 1971.