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Director of Inquiry for Lokpal

Director of Inquiry for Lokpal

Why in news?

  • Recently, in a RTI Reply, it has been revealed that the Centre is yet to appoint a director of inquiry, more than two years after the Lokpal came into being.

Who is a 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 Government of India.
  • He/she shall be appointed by the Central government for conducting preliminary inquiries referred to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) by 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.                            Director of Inquiry for Lokpal

Background

  • 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.

What’s the issue?

  • Though Director of Inquiry has not been appointed by Govt. of India, cases are being received in the commission for conducting preliminary inquiries.
  • Forty-one cases have been received for preliminary inquiry as of March 2021.                    Director of Inquiry for Lokpal

Way Forward

  • In order to tackle the problem of corruption, the institution of the ombudsman should be strengthened both in terms of functional autonomy and availability of manpower.
  • Moreover, Lokpal and Lokayukta must be financially, administratively and legally independent of those whom they are called upon to investigate and prosecute.
  • There is a need for a multiplicity of decentralized institutions with appropriate accountability mechanisms, to avoid the concentration of too much power, in any one institution or authority.
  • Greater transparency, empowering Right to Information Act, strong Whistleblower protection regime are required along with a morally resound leadership that is willing to subject itself to public scrutiny.                                                                          Director of Inquiry for Lokpal

ALSO READ : https://www.brainyias.com/unitary-features-of-the-constitution/

Mussoorie Times

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