Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Government of India has designated several ombudsmen (sometimes called Chief Vigilance Officer or CVO) for the redressal of grievances and complaints from individuals in the banking, insurance and other sectors being serviced by both private and public bodies and corporations.
+ The CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) was setup on the recommendations of Santhanam Committee (1962–64).
In India, Ombudsman is called as Lokpal or Lokayukta. An Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) was set up on 5 January 1966 under the Chairmanship of Shri Morarji Desai. It recommended a two-tier machinery: Lokpal at the Centre (Parliamentary commissioner as in New Zealand) and one Lokayukta each at the State level for redressal of people's grievances. However, the jurisdiction of the Lokpal is not extended for judiciary like in New Zealand. The central Government introduced the first Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill in 1968 and lastly in 2005, which has so far not been enacted.
Lokayukta institution has come into existence in different years, in different States in India. Orissa is the first state to present a bill on establishment of Lokayukta in 1970, however, Maharashtra is the first state to have established the institution in 1972. There after, this institution was established in different States in different years namely: Maharashtra (1972), Bihar (1974), Uttar Pradesh (1977), Madhya Pradesh (1981), Andhra Pradesh (1983), Himachal Pradesh (1983), Karnataka (1984), Assam (1986), Gujarat (1988), Delhi (1995), Punjab (1996), Kerala (1998), Chhattishgarh (2002), Uttaranchal (2002) and West Bengal (2003) and Haryana (2004). The structure of the Lokayukta is not uniform across all the states. Some states have UpaLokayukta under Lokayukta and in some states, the Lokayukta doesn't have sou moto powers of instigating an enquiry.
Kerala State has an Ombudsman for Local Self Government institutions like Panchayaths, Municipalities and Corporations. He or she can enquire/investigate into allegations of action, inaction, corruption and mal administration. A Retd. Judge of the High Court is appointed by the Governor for a term of 3 years. The appointment is made under the provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act.
In the State of Rajasthan, the Lokayukta institution was established in the year 1973 after the Rajasthan Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act, 1973 was passed by the State Legislature and received assent of the President on 26.3.1973.

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