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The office of the ombudsman originated-in Sweden in


1809 and has been adopted by many nations.

The Swedish word Ombudsman means a procurator or


agent of civil affairs, may be interpreted as the peoples
advocate.
Ombudsman is a government official who investigates
citizens complaints against the high government
functionaries.
Though appointed by the legislature he is an independent
functionary - independent of all the three organs of the
state, but reports to the legislature.

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The Ombudsman can act both on the basis of complaints


made by citizens, or suo moto- that is on his own
initiative. He can look into allegations of corruption as
well as maladministration.

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Lokpal is synonymous to the institution of Ombudsman existing


in the Scandinavian countries.

The Administrative reforms Commission (ARC) set up in 1966


recommended the constitution of a two-tier machinery of a
Lokpal at the Centre, and Lokayuktas in the states as it will
remove the sense of injustice from the minds of citizens and
also install public confidence in the efficiency of administrative
machinery.

The Lokpal was visualized as the watchdog institution on


ministerial probity.

Broadly the provisions of different bills empowered the Lokpal


to investigate corruption cases against Government political
functionaries at the highest level in the Central government

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Objective is to provide speedy, cheaper form of justice to


people.
Members: Lokpal is to be a three member body with a
chairperson who is or had been a chief justice or judge of
the Supreme Court; and its two other members who are
judges or chief justices of high courts.

Appointment The chairperson and members shall be


appointed by the President on the recommendation of a
committee consisting of the following persons. (a) The
Vice-President (Chairman) (b) The PM (c) The Speaker of
LS (d) Home Minister (e) Leader of the House, other than
the house in which PM is a member (f) Leaders of
Opposition of both the houses.

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Lokpal will have its own administrative machinery for


conducting investigations.
Jurisdiction of Lokpal: The central level political
functionaries like the Council of Ministers including the
Prime Minister, the Members of Parliament etc.
The Lokpal shall complete the inquiry within a period of
six months.

The Lokpal has the power of a civil court to summon any


person or authority.

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Reasons for the delay in enactment of the Bill centre


around lack of consensus on the following:

Whether the office of the Prime Minister be brought under


the purview of Lokpal

Whether the Lokpal should have its own investigation


machinery, or it should depend on the existing ones

Whether proceedings should be held in camera or

otherwise
|
Whether the recommendations should be binding or not
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The National Commission to Review the Working of


Constitution (NCRWC)2000-2002- in its report submitted
in 2002 stressed the need to enact legislation on Lokpal.
It recommended that the Constitution be amended to
incorporate a provision making it obligatory on the state
governments to set up the institution of Lokayukta.

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The second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC)


set up in 2005 recommended that the Lokpal be given a
constitutional status and renamed the Rashtriya
Lokayukta.
In its fourth report on Ethics in Governance, (2007) the
Commission recommended steps to bring about greater
transparency and accountability in governance at all
levels and root out corruption

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The first Lokayukta institution was established in the


State of Orissa in the year 1970 There after, this
institution was established in different States in different
years namely: Maharashtra (1972), Bihar (1974), Uttar
Pradesh (1977), Madhya Pradesh (1981), Andhra Pradesh
(1983), Himachal Pradesh (1983), Karnataka (l984) etc.

Lokayukta laws are in force in seventeen States today.


However the
Lokayuktas are
states it has
representatives

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power, function and jurisdiction of


the not uniform in the country. In some
been applicable to all the elected
including the CM.

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in some other states legislators have been kept out of his


purview.
In some states, Lokayuktas have not been provided with
their independent investigative machinery making them
dependent on the government agencies infrastructure is
inadequate and so is staff.

Time bound installation of Lokayukta institution


Providing it with adequate infrastructure
Providing it with an independent investigative agency
Giving it scope that includes the highest government
functionaries political and administrative

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