In February 2021, Rajasthan governor Shri Kalraj Mishra appointed former judge of Rajasthan high court Justice Pratap Krishna Lohra as Lokayukta of Rajasthan. The post of the Rajasthan’s Lokayukta was lying vacant after the term of Justice (retd) S S Kothari ended on March 7, 2019.
What is Lokpal & Lokayukta ?
The ‘Lokpal’ is the central governing body that has jurisdiction over all members of parliament and central government employees in case of corruption.
Whereas, the ‘Lokayukta’ is similar to the Lokpal, but functions on a state level. Lokayukta is an independent institution whose jurisdiction is the entire state of Rajasthan.
The Lokayukta (sometimes referred to the institution itself) investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.
History of office of Lokayukta of Rajasthan
In 1966, the First Administrative Reforms Commission (1st ARC) headed by Morarji Desai submitted a special interim report on “Problems of Redressal of Citizen’s Grievances”.
The ARC recommended the setting up of two special authorities designated as ‘Lokpal‘ and ‘Lokayukta’ for the redressal of citizens’ grievances. The institution were to be based on pattern of Scandinavian Ombudsman.
Initially, the Public Prosecuting Department was present for the public prosecution in Rajasthan, however, there was no provision of any institution by which the complaints of misuse of the post, corruption and inaction of the posts against ministers, secretaries and public servants could be investigated and explored.
Hence, in 1973, Rajasthan Lokayukta and the Up-Lokayukta’s Ordinance was passed, which came into force on February 3, 1973. On March 26, 1973 it received the acceptance of Governor, and since then it is as effective in the state in the form of this Act. Then, Justice I.D. Dua became the first Lokayuktaa of Rajasthan.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktaa Act, 2013 (Act No. 1 of 2014) for the establishment of Lokpal and state level Lokayuktaa institutions came into force on January 16, 2014. On 28.2.2014, a high level committee was also constituted by state government under the chairmanship of Advocate General Shri Narpat Mal Lodha, for widening the circumference of this law.
- The Governor shall shall appoint Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas by warrant under his hand and seal after after consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, or if there be no such Leader, a person elected in this behalf by the Members of the Opposition in that House in such manner as the Speaker may direct;
- The Sub-Lokayuktas shall be appointed after consultation with the Lokayukta.
- No specific qualification has been prescribed in the state for appointment to Lokayukta
- 5 Years
- The salary, allowances and pension, payable to and conditions of service of the Lokayukta or sub-Lokayuktas shall respectively be the same as those of the Chief Justice or a Judge of the High Court of Rajasthan.
- Subject to the provisions of Article 311 of the Constitution, the Lokayukta or an sub-Lokayuktas may be removed from his office by the Governor on the ground of mis-behavior or incapacity, and on no other ground.
Posts & Persons out of scope of Lokayukta:
- Chief Judge of the High Court or Judge or member of the judicial service as defined in clause (b) of Article 236 of the Constitution,
- Chief Minister, Rajasthan
- Chairman or member of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission,
- Any court official or employee in India,
- Accountant General, Rajasthan,
- Officials and employees of Rajasthan Assembly Secretariat,
- Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioner, Regional Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan,
- Retired public servants