Tuesday, 15 February 2022

POWERS AND SUGGESTIONS RELATED TO LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTA

 LOKPAL LOKAYUKTA JURISDICTION POWER AND SUGGESTIONS



LOKPAL JURISDICTION AND POWER


LOKPAL'S MANDATE INCLUDES THE PRIME MINISTER, MINISTERS, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, OFFICIALS OF GROUPS A, B, C AND D AS WELL AS OFFICIALS OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.

LOKPAL'S POWERS INCLUDE THE PRIME MINISTER WITHOUT ALLEGATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION.LOKPAL HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT IN THE MATTER OF ANYTHING SAID IN PARLIAMENT OR THE VOTE GIVEN THERE.

ITS AUTHORITY INCLUDES ANY PERSON IN CHARGE OR IN CHARGE (DIRECTOR / SUPERVISOR / SECRETARY) OF ANY PERSON / COMMUNITY SUSPENDED BY A CENTRAL ACT OR ANY OTHER FUNDED BODY / CONTROLLED BY THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON INVOLVED IN THE ACT OF AID, BRIBERY. GIVING OR BRIBING.

LOKPAL LAW MANDATES THAT ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS MUST PROVIDE THEIR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES AND THOSE WHO RELY ON THEM.

IT HAS THE POWER TO MANAGE, AS WELL AS PROVIDE CBI GUIDANCE.

IF LOKPAL APPEALS TO THE CBI, THE INVESTIGATOR IN SUCH A CASE WILL NOT BE REFERRED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF LOKPAL.

THE LOKPAL QUESTIONNAIRE HAS BEEN EMPOWERED IN THE CIVIL COURT.

LOKPAL HAS THE POWER TO CONFISCATE ASSETS, PROFITS, RECEIPTS AND PROFITS ARISING FROM OR OBTAINED FRAUDULENTLY IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

LOKPAL HAS THE POWER TO RECOMMEND A CHANGE OR SUSPENSION OF A PUBLIC SERVANT RELATED TO ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION.

LOKPAL HAS THE POWER TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO PREVENT THE DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS DURING THE INITIAL INVESTIGATION.


LIMITATIONS


THE LOKPAL CENTER HAS TRIED TO BRING ABOUT MUCH-NEEDED CHANGE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THE INDIAN ADMINISTRATION BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE LOOPHOLES AND LACUNAE THAT NEED TO BE REPAIRED.

FIVE YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTAS ACT OF 2013 WAS PASSED BY PARLIAMENT, BUT NOT A SINGLE LOKPAL SO FAR HAS SHOWN A LACK OF POLITICAL WILL.

THE LOKPAL LAW HAS ALSO REQUIRED STATES TO APPOINT LOKAYUKTA WITHIN A YEAR TO TAKE EFFECT. BUT ONLY 16 DISTRICTS HAVE ESTABLISHED LOKAYUKTA.

LOKPAL IS NOT FREE FROM POLITICAL INFLUENCE AS THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE ITSELF CONSISTS OF MEMBERS FROM POLITICAL PARTIES. LOKPAL'S APPOINTMENT MAY BE PUT TO GOOD USE AS THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR DETERMINING WHO IS A 'SUPERIOR LAW' OR A 'SINCERE PERSON.'

THE 2013 LAW DID NOT PROVIDE MATERIAL PROTECTION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS. THE PRINCIPLE OF INITIATING AN INVESTIGATION INTO A COMPLAINANT IF THE DEFENDANT IS FOUND NOT GUILTY WILL MAKE PEOPLE LESS LIKELY TO COMPLAIN.

THE LARGEST LACUNA IS THE REMOVAL OF JUSTICE IN THE LOKPAL AREA.

LOKPAL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND THERE IS NOT ENOUGH APPEAL. AGAINST LOKPAL.

SPECIFIC DETAILS REGARDING LOKAYUKTA'S APPOINTMENT HAVE BEEN LEFT ENTIRELY IN THE STATES.

TO SOME EXTENT, THE NEED FOR EFFECTIVE INDEPENDENCE OF THE CBI IS OFFSET BY THE CHANGES REFLECTED IN ITS DIRECTOR'S SELECTION PROCESS, THROUGH THIS ACT.

A COMPLAINT OF CORRUPTION CANNOT BE REGISTERED AFTER SEVEN YEARS FROM THE DATE OF THE ALLEGED COMPLAINT


SUGGESTIONS RELATED TO LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTA 

SUGGESTIONS

TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF CORRUPTION, THE OMBUDSMAN’S INSTITUTION SHOULD BE STRENGTHENED WITH REGARD TO OPERATIONAL INDEPENDENCE AND STAFFING.

GREATER TRANSPARENCY, INCREASED ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND EMPOWERMENT OF CITIZENS AND CITIZEN GROUPS AND GOOD LEADERSHIP ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY.

THE APPOINTMENT OF LOKPAL ITSELF IS NOT ENOUGH. THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS BASED ON WHETHER PEOPLE WANT LOKPAL. JUST ADDING TO THE POWER OF INVESTIGATIVE STRUCTURES WILL INCREASE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT BUT NOT IMPROVE GOVERNANCE. THE GOVERNMENT’S MOTTO OF “SMALL GOVERNMENT AND MORE GOVERNMENT”, SHOULD BE FOLLOWED IN WRITING AND IN SPIRIT.

IN ADDITION, LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTA SHOULD BE FINANCIALLY, ADMINISTRATIVELY AND LEGALLY INDEPENDENT OF THOSE CALLED UPON TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE.

THE APPOINTMENTS OF LOKPAL AND LOKAYUKTA SHOULD BE MADE TRANSPARENT IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE CHANCES OF THE ENTRY OF THE WRONG KIND OF PEOPLE.

THERE IS A NEED FOR A NUMBER OF INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE PROPERLY ALLOCATED TO POWER, IN ORDER TO AVOID THE ACCUMULATION OF TOO MUCH POWER IN ANY INSTITUTION OR AUTHORITY.


CONCLUSION 

NEGLECTED ADMINISTRATION IS LIKE TERMITES THAT SLOWLY DESTROY THE VERY FABRIC OF THE NATION AND PREVENT ITS MASTERS FROM COMPLETING THEIR WORK. CORRUPTION IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.

MOST ANTI-CORRUPTION ORGANIZATIONS ARE NOT INDEPENDENT AT ALL. EVEN THE SUPREME COURT HAS BEEN CALLED BY THE CBI AS A “DETAINED PARROT” AND “THE VOICE OF ITS MASTER”.

MANY OF THESE INSTITUTIONS ARE COUNSELING CENTERS THAT DO NOT HAVE EFFECTIVE CAPACITY AND THEIR ADVICE IS RARELY FOLLOWED.

THERE IS ALSO THE PROBLEM OF INTERNAL TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. MOREOVER, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO LOOK AT THESE INSTITUTIONS.

IN THIS CONTEXT, THE LOKPAL PRIVATE CENTER HAS BECOME A MILESTONE IN THE HISTORY OF INDIAN POLITICS THAT HAS PROVIDED A SOLUTION TO THE ENDLESS RISK OF CORRUPTION.


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