Scope and Jurisdiction
The Act covers public servants of all categories making a few exceptions like Speaker and Deputy Speaker and Judicial Officers. The Lokayukt has exclusive jurisdiction to enquire into complaints against the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Minister, Minister of State, Deputy Minister, Leader of Opposition and Officers of the rank of Additional Secretary, Secretary and above. The Up-Lokayukt is empowered to enquire into all other cases except those in which powers vest exclusively with the Lokayukt. The term officers includes officers of an Apex Co-operative Society or Central Co-operative Society, any person holding any office in a Government Company, a Corporation local authority established by the State Government, Vice Chancellor, Registrar of a University, and any person appointed to a public service or post in connection with the affairs of the State of Madhya Pradesh. A member of Legislative Assembly is not covered for the purpose of enquiry though he is covered for investigation by the Special Police Establishment under SPE Act.
The Lokayukt or the Up-Lokayukt cannot enquire into any complaint the subject matter of which is more than five years old. They cannot also enquire into any case which is the subject matter of an enquiry under the Public Servant Inquiries Act 1950 or which has been referred for enquiry under the commission of Inquiry Act.1952.
The Lokayukt and the Up-Lokayukt are vested with powers under the Evidence Act 1872 and the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 for conducting enquiries. All proceedings before the Lokayukt and the Up-Lokayukt are deemed to be judicial proceedings and the Lokayukt and the Up-Lokayukt are deemed to be a Court within the meaning of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971.
After allegations against a Public servant are established to the satisfaction of the Lokayukt or the Up-Lokayukt, as the case maybe, the Act requires them to send their report in writing to the competent authority with their findings and recommendations. It is incumbent on the part of the competent authority to report the action taken within three months of receipt of such report. If the Lokayukt or the Up-Lokayukt is not satisfied with the action taken he can send a special report to the Governor in such cases. The Act also provides for submission of annual report by the Lokayukt and the Up-Lokayukt to the State Governor, which is thereafter laid before the State Legislative Assembly. The Lokayukt may also make suggestions to the State Government in respect of any practice or procedure coming to his notice which in his opinion affords an opportunity for corruption or mal-administration. The Act prohibits any suit, prosecution and other proceedings against the Lokayukt or Up-Lokayukt or against any officer, agency or person in respect of anything which is done or intended to be done by them in good faith under the Act.
Last Updated on 23 Dec, 2020