Lokpal Bill

Lokpal bill or Ombudsman Bill came in to existence in 1960’s when the corruption went rampant in the several administrations and systems in India. The idea of Ombudsman Bill originated in Sweden in 1809. Ombudsman is a Swedish word which mean ‘an officer appointed by the legislature to handle complaints against administrative and judicial action’. In layman terms a person or body appointed to keep check on public servants. So, The Administrative Reforms Commission ARC set up 1966 came up with the idea to setup a two-tier system of a lokpal at the centre and Lokayukt in each state.

Its main motive was not only to remove corruption from the society but also to instill and reinstate the confidence of public in judiciary and administrative system. Therefore, in 1968 Lokpal bill was presented to Lok Sabha by Shanti Bhushan and was passed in 1969. But Lok Sabha got dissolved and the bill got lapsed. Revival of the bill was attempted number of times again viz. 1971,1977,1985,1989,1996,1998,2001,2001 and 2008 was the 10th version. Due to recent scams like 2G scam, Lalit Modi Scam, Adarsh Society scam etc. people felt the need to revive Lokpal Bill again as Jan Lokpal Bill or Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill.

Jan Lokpal Bill was drafted on 21st June 2011 Comparison between Lokpal and Jan Lokpal Structure •Structure of Lokpal bill is a government selected and controlled body, with 11 members panel at the center without inclusion of anti-corruption agencies. •Whereas, In Lokpal Bill it proposes to be run by government independent body with 11 members in each state and will include all existing anti-corruption agencies. ? Punishment •In Government’s Lokpal Bill, is maximum 10 years. Higher Punishment is not applicable if the accused holds higher office and no higher fines are applicable for business entities.

No blacklisting of the accused. •On the contrary, Jan Lokpal Bill dictates higher punishment if the accused holds higher office and higher fines, if accused are business entities. Successfully convicted businesses are blacklisted. Time •No specific time limit for the cases under Government’s Lokpal bill. •Any cases have to be completed within a year under Jan Lokpal Bill. Recovery •Under government’s lokpal bill, no specific point has been made about the recovery of black money in any form. •In Jan Lokpal bill, all the assets of the accused are froze and if required will be dissolved to recover the loss.

Protection •No protection is provided to the one who complains under Government’s Lokpal bill. •And in Jan Lokpal bill protection will be provided to the one who brings the accused to the light. ? Power The biggest issue which makes government’s lokpal bill handicapped is the span of power. •Under government lokpal bill, Prime minister, Judiciary, MP’s cannot be investigated. Also only 0. 52% of govt. employees can be investigated. If convicted, employee cannot be discharged from his job. •On the contrary, Under Jan Lokpal Bill, every single Indian citizen including PM, MP’s, Judiciaries and govt. mployees can be investigated. It also grants the power to tap phones of the accused if required. If a government employee is convicted, accused is discharged from his duties. Salient Features of Lokpal Bill 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 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 caused to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction. Complaints against any officer of Lokpal will be investigated and completed within a month and, if found to be substantive, will result in the officer being dismissed within two months. Lokpal Committee: The institution consists of one chairperson and ten other members. The institute is headed by the chairperson. The chairperson might be removed from his office only under the order of the President. The chairperson is responsible for the functioning of the Jan Lokpal committee.

The chairperson holds the post for a term of five years. ? Conditions for becoming a chairperson: 1. The chairperson should not be a former Member of Parliament or former legislature of any state. 2. He/she should not hold any office of profit. 3. The chairperson should not be below 40 years. 4. The chairperson should not have been charge-sheeted for any offence. Complaints against chairperson, members and officials of lokpal 1. Complaints against Chairperson and Members cannot be inquired by Lokpal 2. The Lokpal shall not inquire into any complaint made against the Chairperson or any Member. . Any complaint against the Chairperson or Member shall be made by an application by the party aggrieved, to the President. 4. The President shall decide the action against the Chairperson or Member on the basis of the opinion of the Chief Justice of India and in case the President is satisfied on the basis of the said opinion that the Chairperson or the Member is biased or has indulged in corruption, the President shall, notwithstanding anything, remove such Chairperson or Member and also order for initiation of prosecution in case of allegation of corruption.

Complaints against officials of Lokpal (1) Every complaint of allegation of wrongdoing made against any officer or employee or investigation agency under or associated with the Lokpal for offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this section. 2) The Lokpal shall complete the inquiry into the complaint or allegation made, within a period of thirty days from the date of its receipt. (3) While making an inquiry into the complaint against any officer or employee of the Lokpal or agency engaged or associated with the Lokpal, if it is prima facie satisfied on the basis of evidence available, that— (a) continuance of such officer r employee of the Lokpal or agency engaged or associated in his post while conducting the inquiry is likely to affect such inquiry adversely; or (b) an officer or employee of the Lokpal or agency engaged or associated is likely to destroy or in any way tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses, then, the Lokpal may, by order, suspend such officer or employee of the Lokpal or divest such agency engaged or associated with the Lokpal of all powers and responsibilities hereto before exercised by it . 4) On the completion of the inquiry, if the Lokpal is satisfied that there is prima facie evidence of the commission of an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or of any wrongdoing, it shall, within a period of fifteen days of the completion of such inquiry, order to prosecute such officer or employee of the Lokpal or such officer, employee, agency engaged or associated with the Lokpal and initiate disciplinary proceedings against the official concerned: Provided that no such order shall be passed without giving such officer or employee of the Lokpal or person, agency engaged or associated, a reasonable opportunity of being heard. ? Appointment of Chairperson, other Members and Selection Committee (1) The Chairperson and Members shall be appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendations of a Selection Committee consisting of— (a) The Prime Minister (b) The Speaker of Lok Sabha (c) The Leader of the House other than the House in which the Prime Minister is a Member of Parliament (d) The Minister In? charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Government of India (e) The Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People (f) The Leader of the Opposition in the Council of States 2) The Selection Committee may, if it considers necessary for the purposes of selecting the Chairperson and other members of the Lokpal and for preparing a panel of persons to be considered for appointment as such, constitute a Search Committee consisting of such persons of impeccable integrity and outstanding ability and standing having special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than twenty? fiveyears in, public affairs, administrative law and policy, academics,commerce and industry, law, finance, management, or in any other matter which in the opinion of the Selection Committee, may be useful in making selection of Chairperson and other Members of the Lokpal. 4) The Selection Committee shall regulate its own procedure for selecting the Chairperson and Members of the Lokpal which shall be transparent. (5) The term of the search committee referred to in sub? section (3) and fee and allowances payable to the members of the search committee and the manner of selection of panel of names shall be such as may be prescribed. ? Term of office of Chairperson and Members The Chairperson and every other Member shall, on the recommendations of the Selection Committee, be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and hold office as such for a term not exceeding five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of seventy years.

Salary, allowances and other conditions of service of Chairperson and Members The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of— (i) The Chairperson shall be the same as those of the Chief Justice of India; (ii) Other Members shall be the same as those of a Judge of the Supreme Court: Provided that if the Chairperson or a Member is, at the time of his appointment, in receipt of pension (other than disability pension) in respect of any previous service under the Government of India or under the Government of a State, his salary in respect of service as the Chairperson or, as the case may be, as a Member, be reduced— (a) By the amount of that pension; and b) If he has, before such appointment, received, in lieu of a portion of the pension due to him in respect of such previous service, the commuted value thereof, by the amount of that portion of the pension: Provided further that the salary, allowances and pension payable to, and other conditions of service of, the Chairperson or a Member shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment. ? Lokpal Bill: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantage of Lokpal Bill 1. Major advantage of this bill is all about solving the No. 1 problem of India is CORRUPTION. 2. The decision makers this time will be nonpoliticians, non-bureaucrats, not a police officer. Independent bodies who can virtually work as a parallel government. 3.

This bill is proposed to the government again and again in last 50 years so this holds the belief of generations and we all think this can change the system. 4. The decision will be faster than what we have right now, the proposed decision will be 1 year and punishment will be executed in 2 years. 5. People will not have to go through the grueling system to complain the crime. Major Disadvantages of Lokpal Bill 1. Huge burden on government to run this, it needs huge money to manage the head counts. 2. No guarantee of immunity to influence from minsters, bureaucrats or other officials. 3. Because of the nature and power of Lokpal Bill, the committee members can abuse their powers incoherently.