News: Lokpal Chairman Justice (retired) Pinaki Chandra Ghose has launched the new logo for the Lokpal. A new motto, “Ma Gridhah Kasyasvidhanam (Do not be greedy for anyone’s wealth)”, was also adopted.
- Lokpal is a statutory anti-corruption body responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level while the Lokayukta performs the same function at the state level. The Lokpal and Lokayukta have been established under the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013.
- The Lokpal became functional after the appointment of its Chairman and members in March 2019.
Composition of Lokpal:
- It is a multi-member body that consists of one chairperson and a maximum of 8 members.
- The chairperson and at least half of the members have to be current or former judges of the Supreme Court or chief justices of the high courts
- 50% of the members of the Lokpal is from amongst the SCs, the STs, OBCs, minorities and women.
Selection of Lokpal:
The selection of the Chairperson and members of Lokpal is through a Selection Committee consisting of:
o the Prime Minister,
o the Speaker of the Lok Sabha,
o the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha,
o the Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court Judge nominated by the Chief Justice of India and
o an eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India
Powers of Lokpal:
- The jurisdiction of Lokpal includes the Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament and Groups A, B, C and D officers and officials of the Central Government.
- Lokpal has the power of superintendence and direction over any investigating agency, including the CBI, for cases referred to them by the Lokpal.
- The Lokpal can summon or question any public servant if there exists a prima facie case against the person, even before an investigation agency (such as vigilance or CBI) has begun the probe. Further, any officer of the CBI investigating a case referred to it by the Lokpal, shall not be transferred without the approval of the Lokpal.
- Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while the prosecution is pending.