Wake Up Call by Lokayuykta

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The present Lokayukta of National capital Territory of Delhi, is HMJ Harish Chandra Mishra.

The statute envisages a significant role for the Lokayukta in the crusade against corruption in polity and public life. This needs to be fulfilled. One of the factors for under utilization is the lack of awareness of the existence of the institution of Loakyukta, its functions and utility.

It is necessary for the public at large to know about the existence, constitution and working of this institution for redressal of their complaints / grievances against highly placed Public Functionaries. The nature of complaint and grievances which can be entertained by the Lokayukta needs to be widely known, namely corruption, misuse of authority, nepotism and wrong doings of Public Functionaries. Further, the Lokayukta can also make recommendations with regard to procedures and practices which breed corruption or maladministration. The complainant and/or citizen coming forward must feel reassured that an independent authority would examine and deal with his complaint / grievance swiftly and fairly and make the recommendation to the Competent Authority.

Lokayukta is endeavoring to improve accessibility to the institution. Toward this end, a "Helpline" is being installed, where citizens can give credible information or voice their grievance. It would be attended by officers familiar with the subject. The Complainant / Citizen would be heard and advised appropriately with regard to the procedure for filing of the complaint and/or if it is a case where only credible information is being given after scrutiny, the matter can be proceeded suo-moto.

It is also proposed to launch a programme for dissemination of information with regard to the institution of Lokayukta by organizing symposiums, seminars on corruption in public life and polity and the steps required for bringing about probity, purity and excellence in administration and governance. The public at large and citizens need to be fully made aware of their right to securing administrative justice. Media can play a stellar role in this and build up public opinion.

Lokayukta emphasizes the need to strike at the indifference and apathy of citizens in accepting corruption and wrong doing as a way of life. Citizens have to be brought out of the pervading sense of skepticism regarding the futility of lodging complaints against high Public Functionaries. This would happen over a period of time when the utility and efficacy of the institution is established in its working. There is also need to bring about a sense of re-assurance in the minds of the honest citizen, who musters courage of either lodging a complaint or giving credible information in respect of Public Functionaries, which is actionable, by ensuring that no harm comes to them. Lokayukta has the onerous responsibility of ensuring that false, frivolous and motivated complaints are nipped in the bud after scrutiny so as not to permit the misuse or abuse of the legal process.

Fomer Lokayuktas have made recommendations to Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor for removal of certain lacunae and short comings in the Act as also have amendments which could help in bring about efficacy in the functioning of the Lokayukta and better utilization of the institution. The Lokayukta also needs to be given financial and administrative autonomy for ensuring efficient and independent functioning.