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Ombudsman: Powers and Duties and Status


Powers and duties:

The Ombudsman enquires and investigates complaints made by citizens against abuse of discretionary power, maladministration, or administrative inefficiency and takes appropriate actions. For that purpose, very wide powers are conferred on them. He has access to departmental files. The complainant is not obliged to show any evidence before the Ombudsman to prove his case. It is the function and duty of the Ombudsman to satisfy himself whether or not the complaint was justified. He can even act suo motu. He can grant relief to the aggrieved person as unlike the powers of an ordinary court, his powers are not limited.


Generally, the Ombudsman is a judge or a lawyer or a high officer and his morals, ethics, and probity are irreproachable. Parliament has the duty of appointing the Ombudsman and therefore, he’s not employed by any administrative body or the Executive. He is above party politics and is in a position to think and decide objectively. There is no interference even by Parliament in the execution of his duties. He makes a report to Parliament and sets out the reactions of citizens against the administration. He also makes his own recommendations to eliminate the causes of complaints. Very wide publicity is given to those reports. All his reports are also published in the national newspapers. Thus, in short, he is the “watchdog” or “public safety valve” against mal-administration, and the “protector of the little man”.

  • Ombudsman
  • Powers and Duties
  • Status

BY : Astha Dhawan

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