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LOKPAL EXPENSE PLAN OVERSHOT DOPT FIGURE

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • The overall proposed revised estimate of expenditure under various heads for the Lokpal office this financial year, as on January 15, had exceeded the figure recommended by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), according to a reply provided under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
  • The total expenditure for the Lokpal office stood at ₹11.61 crore as on January 15, when there was an additional committed liability of about ₹6.09 crore. The total requirement was then about ₹17.7 crore.

Lokpal

  • A Lokpal is an anti-corruption authority or body of ombudsman who represents the public interest in the Republic of India.
  • The current Chairperson of Lokpal is Pinaki Chandra Ghose. The Lokpal has jurisdiction over central government to inquire into allegations of corruption against its public functionaries and for matters connected to corruption.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013 with amendments in parliament, following the Jan Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare in 2011.
  • The Lokpal is responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level while the Lokayukta performs the same function at the state level.
  • Minimum age of Lokpal (chairperson or member) on the date of assuming office as the chairperson or member should not be less than 45 years.
  • The Lokpal Bill provides for the filing, with the ombudsman, of complaints of corruption against the prime minister, other ministers, and MPs.
  • The first Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) recommended the enacting of the Office of a Lokpal, convinced that such an institution was justified, not only for removing the sense of injustice from the minds of citizens, but also to instill public confidence in the efficiency of the administrative machinery.

Structure of Lokpal

  • Lokpal is a multi-member body, that consists of one chairperson and a maximum of 8 members and the Chairperson of the Lokpal should be either the former Chief Justice of India or the former Judge of Supreme Court or an eminent person with impeccable integrity and outstanding ability, having special knowledge and expertise of minimum 25 years in the matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance and banking, law and management.
  • Out of the maximum eight members, half will be judicial members and minimum 50% of the Members will be from SC/ ST/ OBC/ Minorities and women.
  • The judicial member of the Lokpal either a former Judge of the Supreme Court or a former Chief Justice of a High Court.
  • The non-judicial member should be an eminent person with impeccable integrity and outstanding ability, having special knowledge and expertise of minimum 25 years in the matters relating to anti-corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, finance including insurance and banking, law and management.
  • The term of office for Lokpal Chairman and Members is 5 years or till the age of 70 years.
  • The members are appointed by the president on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
  • The selection committee is composed of the Prime Minister who is the Chairperson; Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha,  Chief Justice of India or a Judge nominated by him/her and One eminent jurist.
  • For selecting the chairperson and the members, the selection committee constitutes a search panel of at least eight persons.

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