The meaning of the word Ombudsman is an officer, usually appointed by the government or by parliament, but with a significant degree of independence, who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or violation of rights. Use of the term in modern times began in Sweden.
With a mission to realise the Gandhian concept of “Grama Swaraj” and to act as a system ensuring the proper functioning of the 3 tier local bodies and Local Self Government Institutions Government of Kerala constituted the Ombudsman with effect from 29-5-2000 (S.R.O. No.44/2000 dated 29-5-2000) as per section 271 G of Kerala Panchayat Raj Act (13 of 1994) for conducting investigations and enquiries in respect of any action involving corruption or maladministration or irregularities in the discharge of administrative functions by Local Self Government Institutions or by an employee or an officer working under the Local Self Government Institutions or by an employee or an officer working in any office or institution transferred to such Local Self Government Institutions or by elected member of the Local Self Government Institution including its President or Chairperson and for the disposal of such complaints in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Originally the State level authority was having seven members. The Chairman was the person who was holding the post of a High Court Judge and the other six members were drawn from the Judicial, Administrative Sections as well as from eminent social activists. The following were appointed as Chairman and members of Ombudsman for Local Self Government Institutions in Kerala as per G.O.(P) No. 155/2000/LSGD dated 29.05.2000 issued under subsection(2) of Section 271 (G) of Kerala Panchayath Raj Act 1994;
Chairman and Members
||Justice P.A. Muhammed
||Sri. M.A. Nisar
Sri. P.S. Divakaran
Dr. D. Babu Paul, IAS
Sri. K. Mohanchandran, IAS
Prof. T.V. Balan
Prof. R. Balakrishnan Nair
Thereafter the Government, by Act 12 of 2001 dissolved the 7 member authority and the single Ombudsman system came into existence as per notification S.R.O. No.1105/2001 dated 11-12-2001 by appointing a person who has held the post of a Judge of the High Court.
Names of former single member Ombudsmen and their tenure
Justice K.P. Radhakrishna Menon (26.12.2001 – 25.12.2004)
Justice T.K. Chandrasekhara Das (01.02.2005 – 31.01.2008)
Justice M.R. Hariharan Nair (17.03.2008 – 16.03.2011)
Justice M.N. Krishnan (23.04.2011 – 22.04.2014)