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Lokpal debate

Topics Covered:

  1. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  2. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Lokpal debate

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Lokpal- powers, functions and appointment, features of Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, composition of selection and search committees.
  • For Mains: Significance and issues associated.

 

Context: Given the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013, and no Lokpal has been appointed since, the Supreme Court has pressed the search committee to recommend potentials to the selection committee led by prime minister Narendra Modi by February 28.

 

Concerns raised:

The fact that the government has delayed the appointment this long is surely problematic. Besides, a Supreme Court order to nudge the government to make any progress towards establishing the anti-graft institution is a poor commentary on its functioning.

 

Background:

It has taken five years since the Lokpal Act, 2013, received the President’s assent on January 1, 2014, for a Search Committee to even begin its work. It was formed only on September 27, 2018, after Common Cause, an NGO, filed a contempt petition against the government over the delay in constituting the authority despite a Supreme Court verdict in April 2017.

 

Way ahead:

It is true that setting up the Search Committee requires some groundwork, as its composition should be drawn from diverse fields such as anti-corruption policy, public administration, law, banking and insurance; also, half its membership should consist of women, backward class, minority and SC/ST candidates. However, it is the government’s duty to expedite this process and not cite it as a reason for delay.

 

Related facts:

As per Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the appointments to Lokpal is made by high-level selection committee comprising of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, the leader of the largest opposition party and an eminent jurist chosen by them.

 

Sources: the hindu.

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