Even much before the enactment of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) itself, many states had already set up the institution of Lokayuktas.
It must be noted here that the institution of lokayukta was established first in Maharashtra in 1971. Although Odisha had passed the Act in this regard in 1970, it came into force only in 1983.
The various aspects of the institution of lokayukta are:
The structure of the lokayukta is not same in all the states. Some States like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have created the lokayukta as well as upalokayukta, while some others like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have created only the lokayukta. There are still other states like Punjab and Orissa that have designated officials as Lokpal. This pattern was not suggested by the ARC in the states.
The lokayukta and upalokayukta are appointed by the governor of the state. While appointing, the governor in most of the states consults (a) the chief justice of the state high court, and (b) the leader of Opposition in the state legislative assembly.
Judicial qualifications are prescribed for the lokayukta in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka and Assam. But no specific qualifications are prescribed in the states of Bihar, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
In most of the states, the term of office fixed for lokayukta is of 5 years duration or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. He is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.
There is no uniformity regarding the jurisdiction of lokayukta in all the states. The following points can be noted in this regard:
(a) The chief minister is included within the jurisdiction of lokayukta in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, while he is excluded from the purview of lokayukta in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Orissa.
(b) Ministers and higher civil servants are included in the purview of lokayukta in almost all the states. Maharashtra has also included former ministers and civil servants.
(c) Members of state legislatures are included in the purview of lokayukta in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Assam.
(d) The authorities of the local bodies, corporations, companies and societies are included in the jurisdiction of the lokayukta in most of the states.
In most of the states, the lokayukta can initiate investigations either on the basis of a complaint received from the citizen against unfair administrative action or suo moto. But he does not enjoy the power to start investigations on his own initiative (suo moto) in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Assam.
Scope of Cases Covered
The lokayukta can consider the cases of ‘grievances’ as well as ‘allegations’ in the States of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Karnataka. But, in Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the job of lokayuktas is confined to investigating allegations (corruption) and not grievances (maladministration).
1. The lokayukta presents, annually, to the governor of the state a consolidated report on his performance. The governor places this report along with an explanatory memorandum before the state legislature. The lokayukta is responsible to the state legislature.
2. He takes the help of the state investigating agencies for conducting inquiries.
3. He can call for relevant files and documents from the state government departments.
4. The recommendations made by the lokayukta are only advisory and not binding on the state government.
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