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Lokpal Bill

Background



  • The Jan Lokpal Bill also referred as citizen's ombudsman bill.

  • The Jan Lokpal Bill aims to effectively deter corruption, readdress grievances of citizens, and protect whistle-blowers. If made into law, the bill would create an independent ombudsman body called Lokpal (Sanskrit: protector of the people).It would be empowered to register and investigate complaints of corruption against politicians and bureaucrats without prior government approval.

  • In April 2011, civil activist Anna Hazare started a Satyagraha movement by commencing an indefinite fast in New Delhi to demand the passing of bill. Movement attracted attention of media, and hundreds of thousands of supporters, in part due to the organizational skills of Arvind Kejriwal. Following Hazare's four day hunger strike, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the bill would be re-introduced in 2011 monsoon session of the Parliament.


Features of proposed bill



  • To establish a central government anti-corruption institution called Lokpal, supported by Lokayukta at the state level. As in the case of the Supreme Court and Cabinet Secretariat, 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.

  • Members will be appointed by judges, Indian Administrative Service officers with a clean record, private citizens and constitutional authorities through a transparent and participator process.

  • A selection committee will invite short-listed candidates for interviews, video recordings of which will thereafter be made public.

  • Every month on its website, the Lokayukta will publish a list of cases dealt with , brief details of each, their outcome and any action taken or proposed. It will also publish lists of all cases received by the Lokayukta during the previous month, cases dealt with and those which are pending.

  • Investigations of each case must be completed in one year. Any resulting trials should be concluded in the following year, giving a total maximum process time of two years.

  • Losses to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction.

  • Government office work required by a citizen that is not completed within a prescribed time period will result in Lokpal imposing financial penalties on those responsible, which will then be given as compensation to the complainant.

  • Complaints against any officer of Lokpal will be investigated and completed within month and, if found to be substantive, will result in the officer being dismissed within two months.

  • The existing anti-corruption agencies [CVC], departmental vigilance and the anti-corruption branch of the [CBI] will be merged into Lokpal which will have complete power authority to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

  • Whistle blowers who alert the agency to potential corruption cases will also be provided with protection by it.

Contributed by: Studyfreak

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