Ombudsman is a person appointed by the government for the purpose of investigating individual’s complaint against the company or organisation. Ombudsman service is an independent body set up by the parliament for settling dispute between company/organisation and individual. In India, three different kinds of ombudsman service are available. They are:-
1) BANKING OMBUDSMAN: - the banking ombudsman scheme was established in 2002. This is quasi judicial authority created by Government of India to solve complaints of the customers of banks relating to certain services rendered by banks. There are 21 regional offices of Banking Ombudsman in India. Banking Ombudsman take up the complaints relating to Non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills, etc.., Non-payment or delay in payment of inward remittances, Failure to issue or delay in issue, of drafts, pay orders or bankers’ cheques, Failure to honour guarantee or letter of credit commitments, so on.
2) NON BANKING FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN: - The RBI introduced The Ombudsman scheme for Non-Banking financial companies in 2018 for resolution of
complaints of customers of non-banking financial companies (NBFC). This scheme is introduced under Section 45 L of the RBI Act, 1934. There are 4 NBFC Ombudsman offices located at Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, and Mumbai and jurisdiction has been provided. The NBFC Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by RBI under Clause 8 of the scheme. The complaints should be regarding- non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment of interest on deposits, non-adherence to the Reserve Bank directives, if any, applicable to rate of interest on deposits, non-repayment or inordinate delay in the repayment of deposits, non-presentation or inordinate delay in the presentation of post- dated cheques provided by the customer, failure to ensure transparency in the contract/
loan agreement, so on... and such other specified by the RBI time to time.
3) JAN LOKPAL BILL: - This is also called as Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill. An independent body to investigate corruption cases. This bill was passed in 2011.amendment took place to this bill that are Keeping the defence forces and coast guard personnel out of the purview of the anti-graft ombudsman and Increasing the exemption time of former MPs from five to seven years. Some important features of this Bill are: -
1. To establish a central government anti-corruption institution called Lokpal, supported by Lokayukta at the state level.
2. As is the case with the Supreme Court of India and Cabinet Secretariat, the Lokpal will be supervised by the Cabinet Secretary and the Election Commission.
As a result, it will be completely independent of the government and free from ministerial influence in its investigations.
3. Members will be appointed by judges, Indian Administrative Service officers with a clean record, private citizens and constitutional authorities through a transparent and participatory process.
4. A selection committee will invite short-listed candidates for interviews, the video recordings of which will thereafter be made public.
5. Inquiry has to be completed within 60 days and investigation to be completed within six months. Lokpal shall order an investigation only after hearing the public servant.
6. Losses to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction.
7. Whistle-blowers who alert the agency to potential corruption cases will also be provided with protection.
The Ombudsman service helps the general public by resolving the complaints. It helps in maintaining peace in the society by providing remedy.