Both Lokpal and Lokayukta are characterised by the following features:
(1) They, in fact, are the institutions of Indian administrative system. Their fundamental duty is to make the public administration of India free from corruption.
(2) These two institutions are impartial. When they are called for performing any duty they will discharge it impartially and simultaneously independently.
(3) The activities of the Lokpal and Lokayukta are not under any judicial review. That is—the decision or judgment of the Lokpal and Lokayukta cannot be challenged in any court of law.
(4) It is observed that they should not look forward for any financial or any other benefit.
(5) These two institutions are not subject to executive or administrative interference.
(6) The Lokpal and Lokayuktas are non- political persons. In other words, political personalities cannot hold the posts.
(7) These ranks should be of highest judiciary.
(8) They investigate the charges of corruption secretly.
(9) If Lokpal and Lokayukta want to have any information from any department the latter is bound to furnish such information.
There is a process of appointment. The President will appoint the Lokpal. But before that he will take advice of the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition. In other words, after receiving suggestion from the leader of Opposition the PM will suggest the name to the President. This process is quite judicious. The Lokpal can resign his office by addressing a letter to the President. The Lokpal is at par with the Chief Justice of India and he will have a secretariat.
It is the primary duty of the Lokpal to free Indian society from corruption: And through this it will ensure justice. The government has power to order any act. But if the act of the government goes against the basic interests or rights of the individual he will move to the Lokpal for investigation and finally to take action. If the act of the government shows favouritism then the concerned persons can lodge a complaint against the authority.
Hence we find that the main area of action or jurisdiction is to free Indian society from corruption and along with it the nepotism and favouritism. But certain matters are excluded from the jurisdiction of Lokpal. For example, if a minister of Central Government has already taken any action or has recommended an action that matter will remain outside the purview of the Lokpal. If the Central Government decides that the issue should not be referred to the judiciary, in that case the Lokpal cannot take up the matter. If the union government already has taken action on an issue, that cannot be investigated by the Lokpal.
There are some acts or processes which fall under terms and conditions of a contract and if the administration takes any action in accordance with the contract the Lokpal will have no jurisdiction over that matter. Finally, the Lokpal will have no jurisdiction over matters such as appointment, removal from office, disciplinary action taken against any employee or person or superannuation etc. The jurisdiction clearly indicates that the scope of the Lokpal is limited.