Lokpal disposed of 68% corruption complaints against public servants without any action: Parliamentary panel report 

The country’s first anti-corruption body instituted four years ago to investigate complaints against public functionaries, including the PM, submitted that ‘it has not prosecuted even a single person accused of graft till date’

April 04, 2023 07:13 pm | Updated 08:59 pm IST - New Delhi

Lokpal logo. Only three anti-corruption complaints were fully investigated, according to information provided by the Lokpal’s office to a parliamentary panel. Photo: lokpal.gov.in

Lokpal logo. Only three anti-corruption complaints were fully investigated, according to information provided by the Lokpal’s office to a parliamentary panel. Photo: lokpal.gov.in

Around 68% corruption complaints against public functionaries that landed with the Lokpal of India were “disposed off” without any action in the past four years. Only three complaints were fully investigated, according to information provided by the Lokpal’s office to a parliamentary panel.

Nearly 90% complaints were not “in the prescribed format”.

The Lokpal of India, the country’s first anti-corruption body instituted four years ago to investigate complaints against public functionaries, including the Prime Minister, submitted to a parliamentary panel that “it has not prosecuted even a single person accused of graft till date.”

Only 3 complaints fully investigated; ‘incorrect format’

According to data provided by the Lokpal office to a parliamentary panel on the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), since 2019-20, the anti-corruption body received 8,703 complaints, out of which 5,981 complaints were disposed of.

As many as 6,775 complaints were rejected for not being in the correct format. The office informed that only three complaints were fully investigated, and 36 complaints were at a preliminary stage. In 2022-23, as many as 2,760 complaints were received, out of which only 242 were in the prescribed format.

On January 5, the Lokpal of India issued an order that henceforth, complaints received by the office of the Lokpal of India that were not in the prescribed form would not be entertained at any level.

The report said: “The Committee infers from the data provided by Lokpal that a large number of complaints are being disposed of on the ground that the complaint is not in the prescribed format. Lokpal has submitted to the Committee that it has not prosecuted even a single person accused of graft till date.”

10 years of Lokpal

Though the Act was passed in 2013, the country’s first Lokpal, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, was appointed on March 19, 2019 along with eight other members. Justice Ghosh moved out of office in May 2022 after attaining 70 years of age and since then, Pradip Kumar Mohanty has been acting as the Chairperson of Lokpal.

The Lokpal was allocated a budget of ₹197 crore in 2022-23 and till January 31, it incurred an expenditure of ₹152 crore. For the current fiscal, it has been allotted ₹92 crore.

Last year, the Centre purchased a swanky office with an area of 59,504 sq. ft. for the Lokpal for ₹254.88 crore at the World Trade Centre in south Delhi.

The panel, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Sushil Kumar Modi, said the Lokpal was set up to strengthen the legal and institutional mechanisms to deal with corruption in public life, “however, the performance of Lokpal seems to be far from satisfactory”.

It said that the Lokpal was established in an effort to promote clean and responsive governance and therefore, the Lokpal should act as an enabler rather than an inhibitor. “The Committee recommends Lokpal not to reject genuine complaints merely on the technical ground that the complaint is not in the prescribed format. At this juncture when India is heading the G20 Anti Corruption Working group, Lokpal should rise to the occasion and make every effort to strengthen anti corruption landscape in the country,” the report said.

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