The Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in independent India,established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 to inquire and investigate into allegations of corruption against public functionaries who fall within the scope and ambit of the above Act.
Lokpal operates at central level while lokayukt at state level.
The Lokpal of India is committed to address concerns and aspirations of the citizens of India for clean governance. It shall make all efforts within its jurisdiction to serve the public interest and shall endeavor to use the powers vested in it to eradicate corruption in public life.
India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.The commitment of the Government to provide clean and responsive governance is reflected in passing of the legislation and creation of the body of Lokpal, to contain and punish acts of corruption.
First Chairperson of the Lokpal is Shri Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, who is a former Judge of Supreme Court of India and was a sitting member of National Human Rights Commission.
The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson and eight Members out of whom 50% are Judicial Members. The Chairperson and the Members are appointed by the President of India by warrant under his hand and seal and hold office for a term of five years from the date on which they enter upon the office or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. The salary, allowances and other conditions of services of the Chairperson are the same as that of Chief Justice of India.While of membership same as the judges of Supreme court.
The Lokpal has jurisdiction to inquire into allegations of corruption against anyone who is or has been Prime Minister, or a Minister in the Union government, or a Member of Parliament, as well as officials of the Union Government under Groups A, B, C and D. Also covered are chairpersons,members, officers and directors of any board, corporation, society, trust or autonomous body either established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly funded by the Union or State government. It also covers any society or trust or body that receives foreign contribution above ₹10 lakh.
Its decisions are binding.
When a complaint is received, the Lokpal may order a preliminary inquiry by its Inquiry Wing or any other agency, or refer it for investigation by any agency, including the CBI, if there is a prima facie case. The lokpal is vested with the power of search and seizure and also powers under the Civil Procedure Code for the purpose of conductiong preliminary inquiry & investigation and power of attachment of assets and taking other steps for eradication of corruption.
Sources- Lokpal.gov.in and other government data.