Usually the ombudsman is a lawyer, professor or judge with no political or financial axe to grind. He is paid very well and is elected for a four year term. He makes a detailed annual report of the parliament and he sets out the reactions of people against the Government, their complaints against it together with his recommendations for elimination the causes for the complaints.
One important safeguard is that all his decisions are published in the daily press. Naturally he is most popular personality; and he becomes more so because he can interfere even in matters which are not investigated by the police. In England public opinion is growing that the common law has grown too old and stiff to deal with the modern invasion of the rights of citizen by administrative powers which have assumed ‘frightening’ propositions.
It is being felt that a checking agency over the administrative authorities is necessary. A committee was appointed called the Wyatts Committee by the international Commission of jurist and it recommended, in the course of a very comprehensive report, the institution of a Parliamentary Commissioner similar to the Ombudsman but the Government rejected the suggestion altogether on the ground that it would conflict with the doctrine of ministerial responsibility. In India there is a paramount need of a powerful institution similar to that of an ombudsman to check the growth of administrative lawlessness and corruption which is eating into the very vitals of the nation. But it is doubtful whether such an institution is feasible because it may strike at the root of ministerial responsibility, and some of the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the High officials may also be called in question. Nevertheless in a big country like India, it will be better, if instead a council of elders is set up to look into the irregularities of the administration.