Maladministration is like a termite that slowly erodes the foundation of a
nation and it hinders the administration from completing its task. Corruption is
the root cause of this problem that our country faces and though there are many
anti-corruption agencies in India, most of these anti-corruption agencies are
barely independent. Even the CBI has been labeled as a "caged parrot" and "its
master's voice" by the Supreme Court of India.
Many of these agencies are only advisory bodies with no effective powers to deal
with this evil of corruption and their guidance is rarely followed there also
exists the problem of internal transparency and accountability and moreover,
there is not any effective and separate mechanism to maintain checks on such
The Lokayukta (also Lok Ayukta) (Lokayukta, "civil commissioner") is the Indian
Parliamentary Ombudsman, executed into power, through and for, each of the State
Governments of India and as the Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority
constituted at the state level and it investigates allegations of corruption and
mal-administration in contradiction of public servants and is tasked with speedy
redressal of public grievances.
The origin of the Lokayukta can be drawn to the Ombudsmen in Scandinavian
countries. The Administrative Reforms Commission, (1966-70), had recommended the
creation of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in the states and the Centre
is yet to get a Lokpal. The Lokayukta is created as a statutory authority with a
fixed tenure to qualify it to discharge its functions independently and
impartially and the person appointed is usually a former High Court Chief
Justice or former Supreme Court judge.
Members of the public can directly approach the Lokayukta with the complaints of
corruption, nepotism or any other form of mal-administration against any
Before the passing of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act. 2013, several states in
India passed the laws for creating the Institution of Ombudsman called 'Lokayukta'.
The first state which passed the law was Orissa in 1970. Later, different States
viz. Maharashtra (1971), Rajasthan (1973), Madhya Pradesh (1975), Uttar Pradesh
(1975), Karnataka (1979), Andhra Pradesh (1983) and Himachal Pradesh etc. passed
laws to create the institution of Lokayukta and now almost all states in India
passed legislations for creation of Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta.
The object of Lokayukta system in a state is to make investigation of
grievances, allegations against public servants. It is substantial to note that
the Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta Acts in vogue various States are divergent in
many respects and the main areas of difference include the jurisdiction of
Lokayukta; definition of public servants, grievance, allegation and action and
some State Acts provide for two authorities i.e. Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta
while some states only Lokayukta.
In many states, Lokayukta has been given authority over the public servants and
officers but in some states even over ministers, and in Karnataka and the
Himachal Pradesh States even over the Chief Minister Santhosh Hegde, Lokayukta,
Karnataka State submitted the Reports against Yeddyurappa, the Chief Minister of
Karnataka, Gali Janardhana Reddy, the then Minister, and some other persons
providing their corruption in the administration and illegal action against
them. As a result, Yadyurappa was obligated to resign along with his ministers.
Many of states have kept the Chief Minister out of the jurisdiction of Lokayukta
and the role of Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta has normally been of recommendatory
nature. He makes recommendations to the competent authority for taking action.
The Lokayukta needs teeth to be as powerful institution and however, for
political reasons, States of Orissa and Haryana has abolished Lokayukta in 1992
and 1999 respectively.
The Lokayukta is an authority at state level that deals with corruption and mal-admistration
complaints made by the general public as this authority is constituted for
faster redressal of public grievances as the concept of Lokayukta traces back to
the ombudsman in Scandinavian countries.
The Lokayukta is put into power when the Lokayukta act is passed in the state
and works for the State governments and addresses the grievances of the people
living in the state. The complaints can be against the integrity and proficiency
of the government or its administration which includes the people working in the
government sector. The complaints can also be concerning any corruption faced by
the people from the government administration.
To address these serious issues a well-qualified and reputed person, generally a
former high court chief justice or a former Supreme Court judge, is appointed as
the Lokayukta and this person once appointed cannot be terminated or transferred
by the government. The creation of Lokpal at the centre and Lokayukta at the
state level was recommended by the Administrative Reforms commission in the year
1966; after which the first Lokpal act was passed in the year 1971 in the state
The Lokayukta has a fixed tenure and has to make sure to perform the given
functions independently and fairly. The general public can directly approach
this lokayukta with complaints against corruption, nepotism, or defects in
administration and these complaints can be against any government official who
has been involved in such corrupt activities.
The origins of Lokayukta can be traced back to Scandinavian Ombudsmen and in
general, an Ombudsman is a person who is appointed to safeguard citizens from
any kind of maladministration.
In the year 1809, Sweden was the first country to establish an Ombudsman
institution and for the redress of people's concerns, the first ARC advocated
the establishment of two special authorities known as "Lokpal" and "Lokayukta."
In its report titled "Ethics in Governance," the Second Administrative Reforms
Commission (SARC) suggested that the Lokayukta be a multi-member body with a
Judicial Member as Chairperson, an eminent jurist or eminent administrator with
credentials as a member, and the Head of the State Vigilance Commission as an
ex-officio member and the Indian government's efforts to rid the administrative
system of corruption and irregularities gave rise to in the establishment of two
anti-corruption watchdogs, Lokpal and Lokayukta.
The Lokpal And Lokayuktas Act, 2013
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, often known as the Lokpal Act, aims to
establish a Lokpal for the Union and a Lokayukta for each state to investigate
charges of maladministration or corruption against government officials and the
Act covers all of India and applies to "public servants" both inside and outside
The Lokayukta, along with the Income Tax Department and the Anti-Corruption
Bureau, will function as a watchdog in our democratic structure, assisting
citizens in reporting cases of corruption and there is a appreciable difference
in the structure's patterns and the role of Lokayuktas in different states.
Ombudsman -The origin of Lokayukta can be traced to the Ombudsmen in
Scandinavian countries. An Ombudsman is generally regarded as a person who is
appointed to protect citizens against any method of maladministration. Sweden
was the first country to have the institution of Ombudsman in the year 1809. The
Indian government's initiatives in the direction of making the administrative
system free from corruption and malpractices resulted in the government's
creation of two anti-corruption watchdogs, that is, Lokpal and Lokayukta.
this context, it is relevant to trace the historical journey through which these
institutions have evolved and the first ARC recommended the setting up of two
special authorities designated as "Lokpal" and "Lokayukta" for the redressal of
All India Conference Of Lokayukta
All India Conference of Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta held at Simla in 1986 has
made the following suggestion for the development of the institution and
uniformity in the legislations of the states relating to Lokayukta.
- The institution of Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta must be given a Constitutional
- Along with the ministers and public servants to office, the
ex-ministers, and ex-public servants agreed in regard to the action
complained against should also expressly be brought within their purview.
- The jurisdiction of the Lokayuktas and Upa-Lokayuktaa should extend not only
to all claims and corrupt practices but also to the grievances and
maladministration as defined in the Central Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill of 1968.
- In every State its terminology should be 'Lokayukta".
- The condition of the Lokayuktas and Upa Lokayuktas should be uniform
- There should not be provided for safety deposit for making complaints
before the Lokayuktas and Upa-Lokayuktas.
- There should be separate independent agencies under the straight control
of the Lokayuktas and Upa-Lokayuktas.
- The Lokayuktas or Upa-Lokayukta should be given power a approval search and
seizure within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas should be authorized to investigate suo motu.
- The Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta should be deemed to be a High Court in the
interior the meaning of the Contempt of Court Act.
The Organisational Structure Of Lokayukta
The Lokayukta structure does not follow a consistent pattern across all states
and in some states, such as Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and
Maharashtra, established both the Lokayukta and the Up-Lokayukta. Other states
such as Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, established only the Lokayukta and
in Jammu and Kashmir, there is no Lokayukta of Up-Lokayukta.
To assist the Lokayukta and the Up-Lokayukta, the organization is divided into
following four functional wings:
- Administrative and Enquiry Section:
The section is headed by the Secretary,
who is a senior IAS officer and functions as the Head of the Department for
complete organisation. S/he is assisted by one Deputy Secretary, Under
Secretary, Accounts Officer, Section Officers and subordinate staff.
- Legal Section:
To assist the Lokayukta and the Up-Lokayukta in dealing with
legal matters and conducting investigations, officers of the rank of District
Judge are posted as Legal Advisors and an officer of Chief Judicial Magistrate
rank is posted as Dy. Legal Advisor and they are on deputation from the High
- Special Police Establishment (SPE):
The SPE is constituted for the
investigation of certain offenses, which affect the public administration and
those falling under provisions of the prevention of corruption Act that is a
Central Act and is headed by the Director General, who is in the rank of
Director General or Additional Director General of Police Madhya Pradesh.
is helped by the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector Generals of
Police, Superintendents of Police, Deputy Superintendents of Police, Inspectors
and men of the other ranks. It is to be noted that the supervision of
investigation by Madhya Pradesh SPE vests with the Lokayukta.
- Technical Cell:
The Technical Cell deals with inquiries of technical nature
and it is headed by the Chief Engineer, under whom there are Executive
Engineers, Assistant Engineers and Technical Assistants. District Vigilance
Committees There are seven Divisional Committees in Madhya Pradesh, which
enquire into the complaints mentioned to them by the Lokayukta or the
Up-Lokayukta; and submit a report to the concerned authority.
Appointment Of Lokayukta
Qualification and Term of office:
- The Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta are two independent and impartial bodies created
to investigate public servants' behavior and decisions.
- These authorities are held to the similar standards as Supreme Court and High
Court judges and are independent of the legislature and executive.
- The Governor is the one who appoints them and the Governor refers the Chief
Justice of the State High Court and the Leader of the Opposition in the State
Legislative Assembly when making appointments.
- In the states of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and
Odisha, judicial qualifications are obligatory for the Lokayukta.
- In the states of Bihar, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, however, no formal
qualifications are obligatory.
- In the majority of states, the Lokayukta's term of office is set at five years
or 70 years of age (Himachal Pradesh), either occurs first, and the Lokayukta is
not eligible for re-appointment.
- There is no consistency in the case of the jurisdiction of Lokayukta.
- For instance, The Chief Minister is question to Lokayukta's jurisdiction in
Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, but not in
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, or Bihar.
- In the majority of states, the Lokayukta has jurisdiction over ministers and
higher government officers and the former ministers and civil officials have
also been included in Maharashtra.
- Lokayukta is responsible to the state legislature. Its annual report is
presented in the legislature, and predictably its recommendations are accepted
by the House.
Lokayukta In Maharashtra
The Lokayukta is an independent statutory functionary (i) to investigate and
make recommendation to redress and correct any injustice done to a person
through maladministration and (ii) to investigate and make recommendations in
grievances of allegations involving abuse of position and corruption against
public servant. The functions, powers and jurisdiction of Lokayukta and
Upa-Lokayukta are laid down in the Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act,
1971 and the Lokayukta organisation is totally free from executive influence or
interference as it functions as a Watch-dog.
It is a common experience that the citizens often face difficulties like undue
delay, discrimination, corruption etc. in dealing with the Government agencies
and they are obligated to run from pillar to post to redress their grievances.
This institution takes care of a complaint/letter sent on plain paper /
postcard, if it fulfill a piece of necessary evidence to initiate the action
against the wrong doer and this institution help them to secure quick and
inexpensive relief / justice.
In an institution of Lokayukta, the investigation is conducted confidentially,
no court has any right to compel the Lokayukta or any public servant to give
evidence relating to such information or to produce the sign so recorded or
collected and on a complaint filed by the complainant, if after investigation
and hearing, Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta is satisfied that the claims are true,
he then communicates the findings and recommendations to the competent authority
for action within a specified time for compliance.
In case of inaction on his
recommendation, Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta, as the case may be, submits the
special report to the Governor and the Lokayukta submits yearly a consolidated
report on the performance of his office to the Governor to be laid before such
House of the State Legislature with explanatory memorandum. Importantly, this
organization also takes suo-motu cognizance of the issues/causes of public
interest so as to pick up the grievances of people with the objective of masse
upgrading of a system and has been positive to bring change to some extent and
striving to make the system better.
The Maharashtra Lokayukta Institution derived into being from 25th October, 1972
and has been successful in redressing the grievances in about 60-70% of the
- Lokayukta: Justice V. M. Kanade
- UPA: Lokayukta- Shri Sanjay Bhatia
Power Of Lokayukta
- In states like Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat
the chief minister is included within the jurisdiction of Lokayukta while he is
discharged from the purview of Lokayukta in the states of Orissa, Bihar,
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- Ministers and higher public servants are also included under the ambit
of Lokayukta in nearly all the states.
- It has the power to raid the houses and offices of corrupt officials at
the state level and it can call for relevant files and documents from the
state government departments.
- It also enjoys the power to examine and visit government organisations, which
are being investigated.
- Lokayukta may investigate any action taken by the public servant if it is
mentioned by the state government.
- It has the authority to suggest punishment against the offender to the
administration, but it is up to the state to either accept the suggestions
or modify them.
Functions Of Lokayukta
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 act missed the following recommendations:
- Lokayukta is tasked with immediate redressal of public grievances against
politicians and officers in the government service and it investigates
allegations of corruption, abuse of power, maladministration, or lack of honesty
against public functionaries at the state level, and once proved recommends
- A consolidated report will be presented by the Lokayukta and Uplokayukta about
their purposes to the Governor of the state and they are responsible to the
- Its other crucial purpose is to keep a check on the investigation of
anti-corruption agencies and authorities and it carries out fair and
impartial investigations, based on facts against the accused person by
enchanting the assistance of a special investigating officer.
- Lokayukta may investigate any action taken by the public servant if it is
mentioned by the state government and it is tasked with speedy redressal of
- The complaint will not be taken up if there is any alternate remedy and
the process of investigation, etc, is the same as that of the Lokpal.
- The Lokayukta and Uplokayukta will present a combined report of their
functions to the Governor.
- One of the primary demands of the Jan Lokpal Bill was that whistleblowers are
protected and whistleblower protection is not included in the Act. We'll need a
distinct law for it.
- The Act only has one section on Lokayukta, which mandates that states must pass
the Lokayukta Act within one year and there is, however, no information about
their makeup, powers, or other features. States, in fact, have complete autonomy
over how their own Lokayuktas are appointed, how they work, and under what
conditions they serve.
- The Citizen's Charter is devoid of any provisions and there are no sufficient
procedures for pleasing against the Lokayukta, which is unable to undertake
investigations into itself.
M.P. Special Police Establishment V. State Of Madhya Pradesh (2004) 8 SCC 788The Supreme Court has ruled that the Governor may act independently in the
matter of grant of sanction of prosecution against the Chief Minister or any
Minister as in the matters there would be real risk of bias in the opinion
rendered by the Council of Ministers and even in the case of grant of sanction
to prosecute an ex-minister when the decision of the Council of Ministers is
shown to be unreasonable and based on non-consideration of relevant facts.
Justice K.P. Mohapatra V. Ram Chandra Nayak (2002) 8 SCC 1The Supreme Court while dealing with functions of Lokpal under s.7 of Orissa
Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 1995 has held that the functions of Lokayukta are of
utmost importance in seeking that uncontaminated administration of State is
maintained and maladministration as defined under section 2 (h) of the Act is
exposed, so that suitable action against such maladministration and
administrator can be taken and the investigation which Lokpal is required to
carry out is quasi-judicial in nature.
- Make the Lokayukta the central clearinghouse for all corruption charges and give
the Lokayukta jurisdiction over state-run study agencies and bring bureaucrats
within the Lokayuktas' jurisdiction;
- Grant search and seizure powers, as well as the aptitude to launch contempt
- To improve the Lokayukta's performance, provide it with managerial and financial
- Take government-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under the
The efficiency of the government machinery determines the scope of democracy and
growth to a larger extent and the people should be able to air their problems
through an efficient and effective method of compensation in a democracy.
People's democratic aspirations and the administration's strict approach created
conflict and the scope of democracy and development depends, to a greater
extent, on the efficiency of the government machinery. In a democracy, people
should have opportunities to publicize their grievances through an efficient and
effective system of redressal.
Democratic aspirations of the people and the
authoritarian attitude of the administration shaped tension between them. In
this regard, common grievances of citizens against administration are recognized
on the basis of corruption, favoritism, nepotism, neglect of duty,
discrimination, delay, and maladministration. The entire debate on setting up a
strong and healthy Lokayukta is based on the touchstone of transparency and
probity in public life.
Best practices in public administration will be realized, only when the
integrity in public services is upheld. The pertinent issue of corruption in
developing countries retards development; thereby this unit has focused on the
need for concentrated efforts to remove corruption. In this unit, we have
observed that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 paved the way for the founding
of the institution of Lokayukta at the state level. In addition, we have
discussed the evolution, need, and consequence of the Lokayukta. The study has
highlighted on the structure, selection, jurisdiction, functions, and role of
- Administrative law by Dr. Rega Surya Rao- 2nd Edition