[sumit4all] What is Jan Lokpal Bill?

by mynk on Apr 07, 2011      Category: Governance Tags: lokpal lokayuta janlokpal

 A nice write up for better understanding of the issue...

 

 

What is Jan Lokpal Bill?

Written by Sumit Gupta

The government is again thinking of introducing a Lokpal Bill in parliament this year, and the National Advisory Council (NAC) chaired by Sonia Gandhi is considering it. But as it stands today, the bill is riddled with loopholes, defeating its very purpose. Social activists have remarked it to be a toothless bill and not at all acceptable. An alternative bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill has been drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde (Lokayukta of Karnataka), Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal after series of consultations with public and social activists. This bill is supported by Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Anna Hazare, etc.

The Dandi March 2 event and the subsequent ‘fast unto death’ by Anna Hazare from April 5 are in support of this ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’. The activists have already sent the bill to the PM and all CMs but there has been no response. After the ‘fast unto death’ was announced by Anna Hazare, he was invited for talks by the PM, but the response was bad as the PM said the government has no time for corruption till May 13. This after the numerous corruption scams like the Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Society, 2G scam being uncovered in the past months.

The Zero Rupee Note - Stop Corruption

 

 

The Zero Rupee Note - Stop Corruption

 

The present system to fight corruption in India can be described in some points as below -

  1. The Anti Corruption Branch and CBI comes under the government. Despite having evidence, it is very difficult to convict people as they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated.
  2. No corrupt officer is dismissed from the job because Central Vigilance Commission, which is supposed to dismiss corrupt officers, is only an advisory body. Whenever it advises government to dismiss any senior corrupt officer, its advice is never implemented.
  3. No action is taken against corrupt judges because permission is required from the Chief Justice of India to even register an FIR against corrupt judges
  4. The functioning of CBI and vigilance departments is secret and hence it promotes corruption.
  5. Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of these institutions by the government.
  6. Citizens face harassment in government offices. Sometimes they are forced to pay bribes. One can only complaint to senior officers. No action is taken on complaints because senior officers also get their cut.
  7. Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money.
  8. Small punishment for corruption- Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years.

As you can see, in the present system, there is no deterrent for any public official to engage in an act of corruption. Some of the salient features of the Jan Lokpal Bill are -

  1. An institution called LOKPAL in the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up. These institutions will completely independent of the governments, just like the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. No minister can influence their investigations.
  2. Investigation in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt officer, or politician goes to jail in two years max.
  3. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
  4. If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time.
  5. Election of Lokpal officials – What if government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
  6. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
  7. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
  8. The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.

 

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mynk's picture

mynk

Interested in the development sector and hoping to use the skills to create a positive impact......read more

6 Comments

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mynk's picture

While we're at it, here's a different view:

http://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/jan-lok-pal-caveat-emptor/

If you have other posts supporting Hazare please pass them on, most
articles supporting him are either emotionally charged or are written
by folks wearing rose tinted glasses. I'm looking for a post that
quotes the draft and explains sections. From the one Mayank (no
offense, just quoting!) posted:

"The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely
transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be
investigated and the officer dismissed within two months."

Honestly, that just sounds naive.

mynk's picture

hi

the bill itself is not a magic pill. however its good to have a strong one. with consultations from all sections of civil society [ aruna roy made a statement i guess]. the earlier issues lokayukta ran into in karnataka is from wikipedia below and the comprises involving some national parties - though not sure if the lobbies and culprits were penalized.

cheers
senthil

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._Santosh_Hegde#Major_anti-corruption_case...
Santosh Hegde and Resignation from post of Lok Ayukta

mynk's picture

hi

The matter, which is being called the Belekeri port scam, relates to 3.5 million tons of illegal iron ore, belonging to the powerful mining lobby headed by G. Janardhana Reddy, that was ready to be exported fromBelekeri port. After Gokul seized the ore and the high court refused to permit it's export without appropriate papers, a large part of it was surreptitiously exported from the port.[16] Hegde's resignation sought to underline the helplessness of the advisory post of the Lokayukta in such situations.[17]

After persistent protests and public pressure [18] Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa admitted to an illegal iron-ore export racket at Belekeri Port involving 35 lakh metric tonnes of iron ore.[19

so *public pressure* matters apart from the legislation itself - otherwise it would be *helpless* :)

-s

mynk's picture

lokpal in a simplistic sense nationalizes lokaykuta

recently court ordered lokayukta to probe the c.m himself !

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/133307/latest-headlines/lokayukt...

but this and suicides are disjoint

cheers
-s

omnitech's picture

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