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The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 passed by Parliament
Dec 19, 2013

The word Lokpal means an ombudsman, its concept has been derived from the Sweden, drawn up ostensibly to root out corruption at high places prevailing in Indian politics. Whereas the Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority constituted at the state level. It investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances. Finally the Parliament has passed the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill.

Some of the important features in the Bill are as below:-

a) Lokpal will be established at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of the States. A mandate for setting up of the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within a period of 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.

b) Institutional framework of Lokpal:

The Lokpal will consist of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight Members, of which fifty percent shall be judicial members. Fifty per cent of members of Lokpal shall be from amongst SC/ST/OBCs, Minorities and Women. The selection of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal shall be through a Selection Committee consisting of:- Prime Minister; Speaker of Lok Sabha; Leader of Opposition  in the Lok Sabha; Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated  by CJI; Eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India on the basis of recommendations of the first four members of the Selection Committee.

c) Scope of Lokpal:

1. Prime Minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal.
2. Lokpal’s jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants.
3. All entities receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.

d) Miscellaneous Features:

1.  Provides adequate protection for honest and upright Public Servants.
2.  Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
3.  A high powered Committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director,CBI.
4.  Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director;
5.  The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission;
6.  Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal;
7.  The Bill also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending;
8.  The Bill lays down clear time lines for Preliminary enquiry & investigation and trial and towards this end, the Bill provides for setting up of Special Courts.


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