1) What is the purpose of Ombudsman for Local Self Government Institutions?
The Ombudsman, a State level authority for Local Self Government Institutions is established for making investigation and enquiries in respect of charges on any action involving corruption or maladministration or irregularities in the discharge of administrative functions of the public servants as contemplated under the relevant provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and for the disposal of such complaints in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
2) How to file complaints before the Ombudsman ?
Each complaint filed before the Ombudsman shall be filed directly before the Secretary to the Ombudsman or by registered post.
Address for filing of Complaint
Ombudsman for Local Self Government,
Saphallyam Complex, 3rd Floor,
Palayam, University P.O.,
The complaint shall be in writing and as far as may be in Form ‘A’. Each complaint and the documents, thereto, shall be accompanied with such number of copies as there are respondents in the complaint. (For example if the number of petitioners is two, original complaint and three copies of the same have to be submitted ( ie. Number of respondents + 2 ). Each Complaint shall be along with a Statement of affirmation of all the matters mentioned in the complaint are true and correct in one’s behalf and knowledge. Each complaint filed before the Ombudsman shall be filed directly before the Secretary to the Ombudsman or by registered post. The complainant shall affix Court fee Stamp of Rupees Ten on each complaint as fee. Provided that no fee shall be paid if a complaint is submitted on behalf of the Government by a person authorised by the Government. An acknowledgement receipt in Form ‘C’ that the complaint has been received and registered shall be given.
3) What type of complaints can be filed before the Ombudsman?
Complaints on any action involving corruption or maladministration or irregularities in the discharge of administrative functions of the public servants as contemplated under the relevant provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act.
4) What are the follow up actions on defective complaints filed before the Ombudsman?
No complaint not in conformity with the provisions of Panchayat Act and the rules shall be considered. Provided that defective complaints shall be returned to the complainant and the defects of the complaints so returned shall be intimated to the complainant in Writing. If the complaint so received back is resubmitted after rectifying the defects within fifteen days from the date of receipt by the complainant, further action shall be taken considering the same as complaint filed under rule 13 of the Ombudsman for Local Self Government Institutions (Inquiry of Complaints and Service Conditions) Rules 1999.
5) What type of complaints should not be filed before the Ombudsman?
i) Any matter in respect of which a formal and public enquiry has been ordered by Government.
ii) Any matter in respect of which a remedy is available from the Tribunal for Local Self Government Institutions constituted under Section 271S.
iii) Any matter in respect of which an enquiry has been ordered under the Commission of Inquiries Act, 1952 ( Central Act 60 of 1952) or any matter pending before a Court.
iv) Any Complaint filed after the expiry of three years from the date on which the matter complain against have taken place. Provided that the Ombudsman may entertain such complaint if the complainant satisfies that he had sufficient reason for not filing the complaint within the specified period.
6) What are the follow up actions after the filing of complaint before the Ombudsman?
The respondent of the complaint shall be served with a notice in Form ‘D’ by the Ombudsman after registering a complaint and giving acknowledgement receipt to the complainant along with a copy of the complaint and copies of the relevant documents intimating that a written statement of his averments on that and documents connected with which are to be submitted within fifteen days of receipt of the notice and if it is not submitted, the complaint will be disposed of exparte.
7) How the Ombudsman dispose the complaints filed before him?
After completing the initial processes of registration of complaint, issuing notices to parties concerned, receiving statement of averments of the respondents on the complaint, opportunity for personal deposition of complainant and respondent is given.
If the Ombudsman is satisfied that, in any matter mentioned in the matter complaint filed before the Ombudsman, investigation by any police officer or other Government Officers or any technical experts is necessary, that may be subjected to the investigation by police officer or other Government officers or any technical experts, as the case may be, and the investigation report so received may be considered for the disposal of the complaint. Ombudsman may visit the building, office or place involved in or connected with the complaint as part of the investigation.
After the deposition of the parties concerned and examining the documents produced and the evidence adduced by them, the Ombudsman may consider and dispose of complaints other than those involving criminal offences, in the following manner, -
(i) Award of compensation, to citizen in case of loss or grievance;
(ii) Order the recovery of loss caused to the Local Self Government Institution from the person responsible;
(iii) Order the supply of omission or rectification of defects due to inaction;
(iv) Order the recovery of loss from the accused failing which, order realisation through Revenue Recovery Proceedings;
(v) Order other necessary remedial measures considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
Where the Ombudsman finds that the procedure or practice regarding the administration of Local Self Government Institution gives room for complaint, it may give suggestions to the Government or Local Self Government Institutions relating to the measure for avoiding the recurrence of such complaint.
Where the Ombudsman finds that the allegation contained in a complaint is without any substance or trivial in nature it may by order direct the complainant to pay to opposite party so much of the amount specified in the order by way of cost.
The copy of the final disposal of the complaints before the Ombudsman shall be given to each party to the complaint within one month from the date of disposal. The Orders issued by the Ombudsman shall bear the signature and office seal of the Ombudsman and in the cases where copies of the said Orders are issued they shall bear the signature and office seal of the Secretary.
Orders of the Ombudsman are appealable to the Hon’ble High Court.
8) Whether review petition (RP) can be filed before the Ombudsman?
Yes, Review Petitions (RP) can be filed before the Ombudsman.
9) What to do, if the Orders of the Ombudsman were not complied by the parties concerned?
A petition (CMP) may be filed before the Ombudsman for the compliance of the Orders of the Ombudsman
10) Whether the orders of the Ombudsman are appealable ?
Writ Petition may be filed before the Hon’ble High Court, challenging the Orders of the Ombudsman.
11) Whether the services of a legal practitioner is needed for representing the parties concerned during the hearing of the Ombudsman ?
Normally the services of legal practitioner is not needed for representing the parties concerned, during the hearing of the Ombudsman. However if the Ombudsman permits, by an order, a person may be represented by a legal practitioner for reasons to be recorded.