More than two years after the Lokpal came into existence, the Centre is yet to appoint a director of inquiry to conduct a preliminary inquiry into graft complaints that were sent by the anti-corruption ombudsman.
About the Director of Inquiry
- The Lokpal shall constitute an Inquiry Wing, which is headed by the Director of Inquiry, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India.
- Function: To conduct a preliminary inquiry into any offense alleged to have been committed by a public servant that is punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
President Ram NathKovind had on March 23, 2019, administered the oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the chairperson of the Lokpal.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas
- Lokpal and Lokayuktas are statutory bodies and these do not have any constitutional status.
- These institutions perform the function and role of an “Ombudsman” (an official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against a company or organization, especially a public authority).
- They inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public bodies/organizations and for other related matters.
- Lokpal is set up at the center and Lokayukta at the State level.
Power of Lokpal
- The Lokpal has jurisdiction to inquire into the allegations of corruption against anyone who is or has been Prime Minister, or a Minister in the Union government, or a Member of Parliament.
- Officials under the Groups A, B, C, and D.
- Also covered are 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.
Acts to prevent corruption in India
- The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
- The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
- The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946