What is Lokpal?

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Lokpal’s office recently informed that Around 68% of corruption complaints against public functionaries that landed with the Lokpal were “disposed off” without any action in the past four years.

About Lokpal:

  • The Lokpal is a statutory body established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013.
  • Mandate: To inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for related matters.
  • Organisational Structure:
    • The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members
    • Chairperson should be either the former Chief Justice of India Or the former Judge of the Supreme Court, or an eminent person who fulfils eligibility criteria as specified. 
    • Out of the maximum eight members, half will be judicial members. The judicial member of the Lokpal should be either a former Judge of the Supreme Court or a former Chief Justice of a High Court. 
    • Minimum fifty per cent of the Members will be from SC / ST / OBC / Minorities and women. 
  • How are members appointed?
    • The Chairperson and the Members are appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of a selection committee composed of the Prime Minister as the Chairperson, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the Chief Justice of India or a Judge nominated by him/her, and One eminent jurist.
    • They hold office for a term of five years from the date on which they enter upon the office or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. 
    • The salary, allowances and other conditions of services of the Chairperson are the same as that of the Chief Justice of India.
    • The salary, allowances and other conditions of services of the Members are the same as that of a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Jurisdiction:
    • It has jurisdiction to inquire into allegations of corruption against anyone who is or has been Prime Minister, or a Minister in the Union government, or a Member of Parliament, as well as officials of the Union Government under Groups A, B, C and D. 
    • It covers chairpersons, members, officers and directors of any board, corporation, society, trust or autonomous body either established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly funded by the Union or State government.
    • It also covers any society or trust or body that receives foreign contribution above Rs 10 lakh.
  • Exceptions for Prime Minister:
    • Lokpal cannot inquire allegations against the PM relating to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space. 
    • Also, complaints against the PM are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of inquiry and at least 2/3rds of the members approve it. 
  • Powers of Lokpal:
    • It has powers to superintendence over and to give direction to CBI.
    • If it has referred a case to CBI, the investigating officer in such case cannot be transferred without the approval of Lokpal.
    • Powers to authorize CBI for search and seizure operations connected to such cases.
    • The Inquiry Wing of the Lokpal has been vested with the powers of a civil court.
    • Lokpal has powers of confiscation of assets, proceeds, receipts and benefits arisen or procured by means of corruption in special circumstances.
    • Lokpal has the power to recommend the transfer or suspension of public servants connected with the allegation of corruption.
    • Lokpal has the power to give directions to prevent the destruction of records during the preliminary inquiry


Q1) What is the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC)?

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was set up by the Government in 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by K. Santhanam.It enquires into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by certain categories of public servants of the Central Government, corporations established by or under any Central Act, Government Companies, societies and local authorities owned or controlled by Central Government.

Source: Lokpal disposed of 68% corruption complaints against public servants without any action: Parliamentary panel report