Maladministration is like a worm that weakens a nation's foundation slowly. This prevents the administration from finishing its task. The main cause of the issue that our country faces is corruption. Although there are many anti-corruption agencies in India, most of these are hardly autonomous anti-corruption agencies. Even the CBI was called by the Supreme Court of India as a "caged parrot" and "its master's voice." Many of these organizations are just advisory bodies that do not have effective powers to deal with this corrupt evil and seldom obey their advice. There is the question of organizational openness and accountability as well. In addition, there is no adequate and independent system for the management of controls over such entities. In this sense, in the history of Indian politics, the autonomous institution of Lokpal and Lokayukta was a landmark move that provided a solution to the never-ending threat of corruption. At all levels of government, it offers a strong and efficient measure to fight corruption.
Lokpal and Lokayuktas, what are they?
The 2013 Lokpal and Lokayukta Law mandate the formation of Lokpal at Union and Lokayukta at the state level, respectively. The legislative bodies are Lokpal and Lokayuktas, and these have no constitutional standing. These institutions play the function and function of an 'Information commissioner' (an official hired to lead the complaints of individuals against such a corporation or agency, especially a public authority). They investigate corruption charges against some public bodies/organizations as well as other similar topics.
Amendment Act of Lokpal and Lokayukta, 2016
In July 2016, after the enactment of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013, a bill was passed by Parliament amending the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013. This amendment allowed the representative of the largest single opposing party in the Lok Sabha, in the absence of a known Leader of the Opposition, to become a representative of the selection panel. Section 44 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 was amended by this bill as well. Section 44 of the Act concerned with the rules for presenting information of every public servant's assets and liabilities inside of 30 days of entering the Government Service. This amendment removed the 30-day time-limit. It specified that public servants must make a declaration in the manner and form specified by the state of their assets and liabilities. In the event that any non-governmental organization collects government funds greater than Rs. 1 crore or receives international funding greater than Rs. 10 lakh, the properties of the trustees and members of the board should be reported to the Lokpal. The bill included an expansion of the time limit to report their properties and those of their partners to trustees and board members.
The Lokpal institution emerged as a much-needed shift in the fight against corruption. The Lokpal was a tool to reduce the corruption that was growing across India's entire administrative system. But then at the same time, there are openings and gaps that need to be fixed. Lokpal's appointing committee is made up of members from political groups who put Lokpal under political influence. There are no requirements for determining who is an 'outstanding trial lawyer' or 'a an individual of dignity' who is abusing the Lokpal appointment process. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act of 2013 did not give the whistleblowers any kind of substantive protection.
In instances where the accused is found innocent, the provision relating to the initiation of an investigation against the complainant leads to the discouragement of individuals from making complaints. The exclusion of the judiciary from the scope of the Lokpal is one of the biggest gaps. There is no constitutional backing for the Lokpal. There are also no sufficient provisions for appeal toward Lokpal's actions. With regard to the specific specifics in relation to the appointment of Lokayukta, the states have complete discretion. The need for independent living of the CBI has been addressed to some extent by the change brought about by the Lokpal & Lokayukta Act in the recruitment process of the Director of CBI. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act also requires that no grievance toward corruption be enrolled after a time frame of seven years from the date with which it is claimed that the aforementioned offense was decided to commit.
The organization of the information commissioner should be improved both in terms of practical autonomy and the accessibility of manpower in order to address the problem of corruption. Lokpal's appointment is not enough in itself. The government will resolve the issues on the basis of which individuals are seeking a Lokpal. The size of the government would be increased simply by adding to the power of investigative agencies, but not generally by strengthening governance. In a letter and the spirit, the slogan adopted by the government of' less democracy and more leadership' should be pursued. In addition, Lokpal and Lokayukta must be autonomous of those they are called upon to arrest and prosecute economically, operationally, and lawfully. In order to reduce the likelihood of the wrong kinds of people coming in, Lokpal and Lokayukta appointments should be made transparently. A wide array of decentralized institutions with adequate accountability mechanisms is required to prevent too much power from being concentrated in any one organization or jurisdiction.