The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority constituted at the state level. It investigates allegations of corruption against public servants and aids quick addressal of public grievances. The Lokayukta can conduct raids, however, it doesn't have binding powers to punish anyone.
The origin of the Lokayukta can be traced to the Ombudsman in Scandinavian countries and Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigation in New Zealand. The Morarji Desai-led Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) in 1966 had recommended the setting up of two special authorities — 'Lokpal' at the Centre and 'Lokayukta' in the states for the redressal of citizens' grievances.
The public can directly approach the Lokayukta with complaints of corruption or any other form of maladministration against any government official.
The Lokayukta is usually a retired Supreme Court judge or a former High Court Chief Justice and has a fixed tenure.
The range of powers vary from state to state. In, say Delhi, the Lokayukta inquires into allegations of corruption, misuse of authority and wrong doings of public functionaries, including the Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs. And civil servants/bureaucrats, judiciary, police and the Delhi Development Authority are excluded from its ambit.
In Karnataka, which in the 1980s was the first state to get an Ombudsman, the office enjoys a lot of power. Recently, Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde's report indicting Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and his ministers of illegal mining created a political storm eventually leading to the CM's ouster. Yeddyurappa will tender his resignation on 31 July 2011.
Updated Date: Jul 29, 2011 15:19:29 IST