What is Lokayukta:
Lokayukta is an anti-corruption agency established for all the states in India, to investigate on the allegations of corruption and maladministration against public officials at the state level. It is a statutory authority functioning independently and impartially, where anyone from the general public may engage Lokayukta to proceed a complaint against the public servants of the state, in case of corruption, nepotism or any other maladministration.[i]
- It investigates against the public officials of the state in case of allegations like corruption, favouratism, nepotism, injustice and other grievances.
- It has no jurisdiction over Judges, Speaker, Chairman, Accountant General, Chairman and Members of State Public Service Commission Commission, Judges of Civil and criminal court.
- It may investigate any action which is taken by or with the general or specific approval of chief minister, a minister, a member of the State legislature, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or a member of an authority, Board or a committee etc.
- It may investigate any action taken by the public servant if it is referred by the state government.
- The Lokayukta receives the petition from the public and conducts inquiries.[ii]
- The body consists of 3 members, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or the Chief Justice of the High Court and comprise the State Vigilance Commissioner and a Jurist or an eminent administrator as other members.[iii]
- The members are appointed by the Chief minister of the state, Chief Justice of the respective High Court and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.[iv]
- Written complaints are to be made by the complainant for investigation.
- If it is an allegation, the complainant shall file an affidavit.
- Lokayuktas can either investigate the complaints using their suo motu powers under the state Act concerned or forward them to the heads of the departments under the scanner for action or act as a mediator between the citizen and the government servant against whom the complaint is made.[v]
- It has the power to investigate the grievances of the citizen due to maladministration
- It has the power to inquire into allegations made against the public servants of the state for corruption.[vi]
- It has the power to raid on the houses and offices of the official against who the allegation is made.[vii]
- But it does not have the power to punish the corrupt official, it can only suggest the punishments which may be accepted or be modified by the state.[viii]
Case and illustrations:
In this case, the appellant challenged the validity of the report of Lokayukta, to prosecute the appellant under Section 10(3) of Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Uplokayuktas Act, 1975 and Section 13(1) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for non-furnishing of source of income. The court held that, the appellant was not justified in challenging the procedure of Lokayukta and there is no basis to find fault in the conduct of Lokayukta. And decided not to give further time to the appellant for raising further issues, as the issues raised previously were baseless, and it is the discretion of Lokayukta to adopt any type of procedure and provide suggestions in it’s report.[ix]
It can be concluded from the above given information that, any person in the state can approach Lokayukta in case of grievance with regard to maladministration by the public officials of the state. It is very helpful to expose the corrupt officials as it is an independent body, but not so powerful to punish them, as it is just an advisory body who’s suggestions can be modified and the decisions be challenged before the respective High Court or any other specialized tribunal. Still a person can approach Lokayukta for speedy redressal against the act of corruption committed by the public officials of the state.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i] NDTV, What is Lokayukta?, https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/what-is-a-lokayukta-423575
[ii] Sansar Lochan, Details about Lokayukta and its Powers and Functions, https://www.sansarlochan.in/en/details-lokayukta-powers-functions/
[iii] Key Differences, Difference Between Lokayukta and Lokpal, 29 Mar 2018. https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-lokayukta-and-lokpal.html
[iv] Deccan Herald, Lokayukta may get constitutional status. https://www.deccanherald.com/content/78301/lokayukta-may-get-constitutional-status.html
[v] Current Affairs India, Lokayukta: Setup and Functions, http://www.currentaffairsindia.info/2011/07/lokayukta-setup-and-functions.html
[vi] Jagran Josh, Lokpal and Lokayukta in Indian Constitution, https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/lokpal-and-lokayukta-in-indian-constitution-1438067571-1
[vii] Sansar Lochan, Details about Lokayukta and its Powers and Functions, https://www.sansarlochan.in/en/details-lokayukta-powers-functions/
[viii] Current Affairs India, Lokayukta: Setup and Functions, http://www.currentaffairsindia.info/2011/07/lokayukta-setup-and-functions.html
[ix] Rang Nath Mishra vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. (10.04.2015 – SC) – MANU/SC/0411/2015 (The validity of the procedure adopted to make the report by Lokayukta cannot be challenged)