Lokpal in India: Meaning, Eligibility, Appointment, Functions

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Lokpal in India

The fight against corruption is a continuous battle in democracies across the world, and India is no exception. Furthermore, to address public concern regarding corruption, India established the Lokpal, an anti-corruption authority that keeps a check on public officials. Moreover, Lokpal fights against corruption by investigating allegations, initiating proceedings, and proposing reforms. Therefore, Lokpal aims to guarantee more accountability and transparency within the Government. The First Lokpal of India was Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose who belonged to the State of West Bengal. Read on to learn more about the meaning of Lokpal in India, the current Lokpal of India, the eligibility, appointment and the work of Lokpal in India. 

What is the Meaning of Lokpal?

Lokpal is a Hindi word derived from Sanskrit, where “Lok” translates to “people” and “Pal” translates to “protector” or “defender.” 

  • Therefore, Lokpal translates to “People’s protector” or “People’s friend.” 
  • Additionally, this name aims to reflect the Lokpal’s role as a guardian against corruption on behalf of the Indian public. 

Also Read: Lokayukta in India: Appointment and States

Who is the Lokpal of India?

The current Lokpal of India is Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar. He assumed the position on the 10th of March 2024. Moreover, Justice Khanwilkar is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India, thus bringing a wealth of legal experience to the role. 

Also Read: Kiran Bedi: A Fearless Woman of Many Firsts

Who is Eligible for Lokpal?

The Lokpal has many members with a Chairperson and a utmost of 8 other members. Moreover, to be eligible for these positions, the following criteria apply:

  • Chairperson: They must be either a former Chief Justice of India, a previous Supreme Court judge, or a prominent person with integrity and exceptional capability.
    • This person should also have at least 25 years of experience in relevant fields like public administration, anti-corruption policy, vigilance, law, finance, or management.
  • Members: Half of the members (which also includes the Chairperson) must be members of the Judiciary and, therefore, possess a legal background.
  • Age: All Lokpal members as well as the Chairperson, must be at least 45 years old on the date of assuming office.

Also Read: 6 Types of Standing Committees in India

Who Appoints Lokpal?

In addition, the Lokpal is appointed through a Selection Committee which consists of:

  • The Chief Justice of India, or a judge nominated by him/her
  • One eminent person nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

This Selection Committee ensures a balanced approach hence involving representatives from the government, the opposition, the judiciary, and civil society. Moreover, the Committee considers nominations and recommends qualified candidates for appointment by the President of India.

Also Read: Who Was The First Chief Justice Of India?

What does the Lokpal do?

The Lokpal is the apex anti-corruption body at the national level in India. Its Functions are as follows:

  • Investigating Allegations of Corruption: The Lokpal has the authority to investigate allegations of corruption against specific categories of public officials, which include:
  • The Prime Minister (except for national security, international relations, and certain other matters)
  • Ministers in the Central government
  • Members of Parliament (this excludes their actions within the Parliament)
  • Group A, B, C, and D officers and officials working for the Central government
  • Initiating Proceedings: Moreover, based on the investigation findings, the Lokpal can start proceedings against public officials found to be involved in corruption.
    • These proceedings may involve recommending disciplinary action, initiating criminal prosecution, or taking other necessary steps.
  • Providing Recommendations: The Lokpal has an important part in suggesting improvements to existing anti-corruption laws and recommending preventative measures to stop corruption in the government.
  • Raising Awareness: The Lokpal can raise public awareness about corruption and educate citizens on their rights and responsibilities in fighting it.

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Lastly, we hope you liked our blog and gained an understanding of the Lokpal in India. Moreover, you may even read more blogs and empower yourself with knowledge regarding Civics and Polity!

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