The number of complaints submitted to the Lokpal has considerably reduced over the years which is a good reflection on the Modi government as there is hardly anything to complain against, Minister of State for Personnel and PMO Jitendra Singh informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Replying to supplementary queries during the Question Hour, he said that while in 2019-20 there were 1,427 complaints to the anti-corruption ombudsman, it reduced to only 110 in 2020-21 and 12 in the current year.
The minister said what is important for all to know is that in the very first year there were more than 1,000 complaints before the Lokpal, but in the very next year the number went down to just about 100 or so.
"In 2019-20, we had 1,427 complaints and in 2020-21, there were 110 and in the current year there are only 12 till date," he told Rajya Sabha.
"Which means the number of complaints which are liable to be submitted to the Lokpal have considerably reduced and reduced progressively which is a good reflection not only on the part of the Lokpal but also on the Modi government, because there is hardly anything to complain for," Mr Singh said.
Asked whether he was satisfied with the performance of the Lokpal, the minister said, "I would like to share with the member that it is not fully mandated on my part to comment on the performance of the Lokpal. However, the Lokpal submits the report directly to the President of India."
On the current vacancies in the Lokpal, Mr Singh said, "The (appointment) process is going on. We have already constituted the Lokpal Committee."
He told the members that what is important for all to realise is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself committed to zero tolerance against corruption and the establishment of Lokpal has also happened as a part of that commitment.
He said for the first time the demand for having an ombudsman like this which later came up in the form of Lokpal was raised way back in 1963.
"Then a bill was presented at least 10 times in Parliament by different governments, whether it was the lack of will or it was half-baked attempts. Finally in 2014 beginning, when the UPA government was on its way out, brought in a bill under pressure which was full of inadequacies. Then it was brought in an amended form," he said.
"Now, we have the chairman in place and we have two judicial members in place, and one of the judicial members died of Covid," he told the house.
In written reply to a question on the number of vacancies in the Lokpal, the minister said, "The institution of the Lokpal has been sanctioned requisite staff including that provided under sections 11 and 12 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013."