Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 – History, Features, Powers, Functions

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 is an anti-corruption authority that represents the public interest. This concept is taken from Sweden which is also called an Ombudsman. The Lokpal takes care of and ensures the inquiry and prosecution of the cases where union officials are charged with corruption cases. Whereas, Lokayukta is a state-level body that is similar to Lokpal and acts the state-level officials and looks after their corruption charges. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 concerns the issues pertaining to corruption.

The concept of Lokpal and Lokayukta was first introduced by the state of Maharashtra by the up-Lokayukta Act in 1971. This is an essential segment of Indian Polity. Walk through the article to get complete details of the topic “Lokpal and Lokayukta Act” to lay forth an effective preparation strategy for the upcoming exam.

What is Lokpal And Lokayukta Act 2013?

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 is generally called the Lokpal act which is an anti-corruption act passed by the Parliament of India.

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act Notes PDF

  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta bill 2013 was passed by the Upper house on 17th December 2013.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta bill received assent from the President of India on 1st January 2014 which further came into force on 16th January.
  • Lokpal and Lokayukta are the bodies that fulfill the responsibility of an ombudsman which means an authority that investigates the complaints related to a person, organization, or any government agency for the claims of corruption.

What is Lokpal?

The Lokpal is the first organization and one of its own kind in India. Lokpal was established under the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 whose main task was to enquire and investigate the cases related to corruption with respect to the officials and organizations at the Central level.

Lokpal of India is purely committed to making clean governance in India and hence it makes all genuine efforts to serve the public domain. As India is the secretary member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption therefore the construction of such a body to punish the act of corruption is an important move.

What is Lokayukta?

Lokayukta is the same as the Lokpal as it is also an anti-corruption authority for the states of India. The Lokayukta keeps an eye on the officials and public organizations and investigates the allegations of corruption and maladministration.

Lokayukta is created as the statutory authority with fixed terms of office to enable them to carry out their duties impartially and independently. Generally, the person appointed for Lokayukta is the one who has served as the Chief Justice of the High Court or the Supreme Court.

History of Lokpal and Lokayukta Act

Let’s take a look at the history of Lokpal and Lokayukta below. The complete knowledge of the history of the Act will assist the aspirants in tracing the origin and its surge in other countries.

  • Sweden established the Institution of ombudsman in 1809.
  • As an institution, the ombudsman developed even more significantly following the second world war.
  • Resulting to which after a few decades New Zealand and Norway also implemented ombudsman system in 1962 and this concept prove to be extremely influential.
  • To implement the concept of an ombudsman in the year 1966, the country Guyana accounted to be the first country to do so. Subsequently, it was followed and implemented by India, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Singapore as well.
  • During the initial years of 1960s, Ashok Kumar Sen who was the Law Minister at that time proposed the idea of a constitutional version in the Parliament of India.
  • The concept and words Lokpal and Lokayukta were coined by Dr. LM Singhvi in India.
  • As part of the first Administrative Reforms Commission recommendation in 1966, there should be two authorities that ought to be independent at the Central and state levels. One of which would investigate the Complaints against the corruption cases of government officials.
  • During the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1968, the Lokpal bill lapsed and since then it has fallen through many Lok Sabha sessions.
  • The bill was passed 8 times before 2011 but failed each time.
  • Based on the findings of the commission to revisit the working of the Indian constitution established by MN Venkatachaliah in 2002, it was recommended that the Lokpal and Lokayukta be appointed and the PM should remain outside the authority’s scope.
  • Veerappa Mauli chaired the second Administrative Reforms Commission that recommended the establishment of the Lokpal office immediately.
  • An examination of the Lokpal bill proposal was conducted by the minister’s groups which was shared by Pranab Mukherjee in 2011.
  • It was Anna Hazare’s India against corruption movement that further advanced to the Lokpal and Lokayukta bill in 2013, sanctioned by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha under the UPA government.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta bill received their assent from the President of India on 1st January 2014 and later came into action on 16th January 2014.

Composition of Lokpal And Lokayukta

The Lokpal panel is mandatory to have a chairperson and a total of 8 members according to the act out of those, 4 should be the judicial members. There are certain provisions and eligibility criteria for the Lokpal and Lokayukta selection committee, walk through the illustrated points to gain complete knowledge.

Eligibility Criteria for Lokpal Members

The chairperson of Lok Pal should have served as chief justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court or any distinguished personality having the knowledge and expertise in the field of anti-corruption policy Vigilance Public Administration and Law and Management.

  • The Lokpal judicial member should have served as a judge for the supreme court or the chief justice of the High Court.
  • Other Lokpal members can be any eminent personality with experience of 25 years of knowledge in public administration Vigilance and anti-corruption policy.
  • Half of the membership of Lokpal must contain scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and OBC along with minority classes and women.

Selection Committee

All the members of Lokpal are appointed by a selection committee that is composed of the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, and the CJI.

Eligibility Criteria for Lokayukta

The chief minister of the state selects the Lokayukta after taking a meeting with the chief justice of the High Court, the Speaker of the legislative assembly, and the chairman of the Legislative Council.

Salient Features of Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013

Lokpal at the Central level and Lokayukta at the state level are intended to be set up under the legislation to provide the Nation with an anti-corruption road map at both levels. Following are the salient features of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013.

  • Members of parliament and officers of the central government of groups A, B, C, and D are subject to Lokpal jurisdiction.
  • Lokpal comprises a chairperson and up to 8 members out of which 50% shall be judicial.
  • A Lokpal will consist of approximately 50% members from SC, ST, OBC minorities, and the women’s community.
  • The chairperson and members of Lokpal are selected by a selection committee composed of the Prime Minister speaker of Lok Sabha leader of the opposition CJI and the President.
  • To assist the selection committee in selecting the candidates, a search committee is formed where the members of the search committee shall also represent SC, ST, OBC, minorities, and women.
  • With subject matter exclusions and specific procedures for handling complaints against him or her, the Prime Minister has been brought under the administration of Lokpal.

Powers and Functions of Lokpal

The Lokpal and Lokayukta are associated with numerous responsibilities such as mitigating corruption and maladministration and uprooting them from government organizations. The complete details of the powers and functions of the Lokpal have been highlighted here.

  • Public servants of all the categories including the Government employees of all the levels including groups A, B, and C will be under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
  • On referral by the Lokpal, any investigative agency including the Central Bureau of Investigation can be controlled and directed by it.
  • The appointment of the CBI director is recommended by a high-powered committee that will be led by the Prime Minister.
  • In the case of a preliminary inquiry, it may last for 3 months and can be extended by 3 months.
  • 6 months are allowed for investigation and these can be extended by 6 months.
  • There is a change in the maximum punishment for corruption under the Prevention of corruption act which is increased from 7 to 10 years.
  • The institutions that are partially or completely funded by the government come under the jurisdiction of Lokpal however the Institutions which are added by the government are kept out of it.
  • All the organizations receiving grants from foreign sources under the foreign contribution Regulation Act with the access of rupees 10 lahks per year come under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.

Drawbacks of Lokpal and Lokayukta

In the fight against corruption in the Indian Administrative structure, the Lokpal has attempted to make a positive change but still, there are loopholes and inconsistencies that ought to be addressed.

  • There has been no appointment of a Lokpal since the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 was passed by Parliament which demonstrates the dearth of political commitment.
  • In addition to appointing members belonging to political parties, the Lokpal committee itself is subject to political influence.
  • As a Lokpal appointment is not based on any criteria for deciding who is an eminent jurist or a person of integrity therefore it can be utilized in a methodical way.
  • Lokpal is not a constitutional body, hence, there is no provision to appeal in the Lokpal.

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act Summary

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 is also referred to as the Lokpal Act. It was introduced as an act dedicated to anti-corruption activities. It deals with cases related to corruption in central & state government organizations. It is also referred to as the Ombudsman Authority.

Maharashtra has the credit of becoming the 1st state to make use of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013. The bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha in 2011 and was finally passed in 2013. The Act actually was effective from 16th January 2014.

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act UPSC

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act topic is an important one from the Indian Polity Syllabus of the UPSC exam. This topic becomes highly important due to its existence and limitations and therefore the chances of questions being asked about this topic are higher.

Lokpal and Lokayukta Act PDF

IAS Exam aspirants can download the syllabus for Prelims Exams and the Indian Polity Notes for the exam. Also, you can get the previous year question papers and NCERT Books for IAS preparations.

Questions on Lokpal And Lokayukta Act

The aspirants must prepare well and bring forth a methodical strategy for attempting the exam and practicing the pertinent questions. The questions on Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 asked in the previous years have been laid herein. By practicing these questions the aspirants will be able to get the complete ideation of the pattern and the types of questions asked in the exam.

Question: The Appointment of Lokayukta at the state level was first recommended by? [A] Rajasthan State Administrative Reforms Committee,  [B] Administrative Reforms Commission of India (1966-70), [C] Second Administrative Reforms Commission, [D] Santhanam Committee

Answer – (Option B) Administrative Reforms Commission of India (1966-70)

The sample question on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act have been curated by the experts keeping in consideration the previous year’s questions and the pattern of questions asked from this topic. The aspirants can practice more for this topic by solving the questions and tracking their level of preparation and understanding of the fundamentals.

Sample Question: Consider the following statements and choose the correct options:  [1] A two-tier administrative system with a Lokpal at the center and Lokayukta at the state level was recommended by the Administrative Reforms Commission that was set up in 1966. [2] Administrative Reforms Commission was established in 1966 under the leadership of PD Deshmukh

Which of the option/s given below is/are right? [A] 1 only, [B] 2 only, [C] Both are correct, [D] None of the above

Answer: A (1 only) A two-tier administrative system with a Lokpal at the center and Lokayukta at the state level was recommended by the Administrative Reforms Commission that was set up in 1966.

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