Jan Lokpal Bill
The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the citizens’ ombudsman bill, is a proposed anti-corruption law in India. The Jan Lokpal Bill was proposed by anti-corruption social activists from the civil society as opposed to the official Lokpal Bill proposed by the Government of India. The Jan Lokpal Bill was designed to effectively deter corruption, redress grievances of citizens and protect whistle-blowers.
If passed and made into law, the bill seeks to create an ombudsman called the Lokpal (Sanskrit for protector of the people) – an independent body similar to the Election Commission of India with the power to investigate politicians and bureaucrats without prior government permission. First introduced in 1969, the bill has failed to become law for nearly over four decades.
In 2011, Gandhian rights activist Anna Hazare started a Satyagraha movement by commencing a fast unto death in New Delhi to demand the passing of the bill. The movement attracted attention in the media, and thousands of supporters. Following Hazare’s four day hunger strike, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the bill would be re-introduced in the 2011 monsoon session of the Parliament.
Attempts to draft a compromise bill, merging the Government’s version and that of the civil group’s version, by a committee of five Cabinet Ministers and five social activists failed. The Indian government introduced its own version of the bill in the parliament, which the activists consider to be too weak.
The bill was first introduced by Shanti Bhushan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanti_Bhushan in 1968 and passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969. However, it did not get through in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. Subsequent versions were re-introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008.But these never passed. Key features of proposed bill: Some important features of the proposed bill are:
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- A selection committee will invite shortlisted candidates for interviews, videorecordings 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 caused to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction.
- Government officework 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 a 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 and authority to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
- Whistleblowers who alert the agency to potential corruption cases will also be provided with protection by it.
India Against Corruption (IAC)
[Official Site: http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/%5D
India Against Corruption (IAC) is a citizen’s movement to demand strong anti-corruption laws. Lokpal bills were introduced several times since 1968, yet they were never passed by the Indian Parliament. After a fast by veteran social activist Anna Hazare and widespread protests by citizens across India the Government of India constituted a 10-member Joint Committee of ministers and civil society activists to draft an effective Jan Lokpal Bill. The primary focus of IAC movement is to ensure a strong Lokpal bill. The IAC is a strictly voluntary organization and its participants are bound by the IAC code of conduct.
2011 Indian anti-corruption movement
The 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement refers to a series of protests against the Government of India intended to seek strong legislation against graft, otherwise known as corruption. The protests have centred on a proposed bill, called the Jan Lokpal Bill, which the protestors believe could address the issue if it was suitably worded and enforced. The movement has gained momentum in particular since 5 April 2011, when Anna Hazare, a prominent activist, first went on a hunger strike which he called a “fast unto death”.
The protesters are of the opinion that the government desires to dilute proposals contained in the original draft of the Jan Lokpal bill. They believe that the changes would make the body intended to oversee the issue, the Lokayukta, no more than a powerless advisory body in the Indian bureaucracy. Hazare, who is a Gandhian, went on his initial hunger strike when talks designed to consider the issues broke down. He had demanded the creation of a joint drafting committee for the bill, with members from both “civil society” and government.
India Against Corruption Movement – Code Of Conduct
[IAC Code: http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/iaccode.html%5D
- The movement is completely NONVIOLENT & PEACEFUL
- It is INCLUSIVE & NON-DISCRIMINATORY. Encouraging every community regardless of religion, caste, language, region, culture, sex, age, profession, economic strata, etc. to be part of the movement and be treated equally.
- The movement is completely SECULAR. Communalism is more dangerous than corruption. Also, the problems of this country cannot be solved without people from all faiths and religions coming together.
- The volunteers should work in the spirit of SELFLESS SERVICE to fulfill the dream of realizing a strong Jan Lokpal Act for the country without expecting money, name, fame, recognition, etc. for oneself.
- India Against Corruption is not a Sangathan or an NGO or any institution. It is a people’s movement, a collective expression of the people of India fighting against corruption and seeking a better future. Therefore, the movement cannot have any branches. Rather than an organizational structure, it seeks to develop an efficient communication structure to enable free flow of ideas. Every person participating in the movement does so as a citizen of India with a burning desire to do something for the country. No person is a representative of Anna Hazare or in any other position.
- FRATERNITY & UNITY. People should work with a feeling of brotherhood and avoid conflicts within a group or across groups. The forces opposite us are so powerful. We must stay united if we have to win over them.
Kisan Baburao Hazare (born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare pronunciation (help·info) is an Indian social activist who is especially recognised for the Indian Movement against corruption and his contribution to the development and structuring of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the government of India in 1992 for his efforts in establishing Ralegan Siddhi as a model village.
Anna Hazare started a fast unto death on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the government of India to enact a strong anti-corruption act as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, a law to establish a Lokpal (ombudsman) with the power to deal with corruption in public offices.
Honours, Awards and International Recognition
[In Brief] See how Lokpal Bill can curb the politicians
System Proposed by civil society
|No politician or senior officer ever goes to jail despite huge evidencebecause Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and CBI directly come under the government. Before starting investigation or initiating prosecution in any case, they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated.
||Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta at state level will be independent bodies. ACB and CBI will be merged into these bodies. They will have power to initiate investigations and prosecution against any officer or politician without needing anyone’s permission. Investigation should be completed within 1 year and trial to get over in next 1 year. Within two years, the corrupt should go to jail.
|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.
||Lokpal and Lokayukta will have complete powers to order dismissal of a corrupt officer.CVC and all departmental vigilance will be merged into Lokpal and state vigilance will be merged into Lokayukta.
|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.
||Lokpal & Lokayukta shall have powers to investigate and prosecute any judge without needing anyone’s permission.
|Nowhere to go – People expose corruption but no action is taken on their complaints.
||Lokpal & Lokayukta will have to enquire into and hear every complaint.
|There is so much corruption within CBI and vigilance departments. Their functioning is so secret that it encourages corruption within these agencies.
||All investigations in Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be transparent. After completion of investigation, all case records shall be open to public. Complaint against any staff of Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be enquired and punishment announced within two months.
|Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of anti-corruption agencies.
||Politicians will have absolutely no say in selections of Chairperson and members of Lokpal & Lokayukta. Selections will take place through a transparent and public participatory process.
|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.
||Lokpal & Lokayukta will get public grievances resolved in time bound manner, impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day of delay to be deducted from the salary of guilty officer and award that amount as compensation to the aggrieved citizen.
|Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money.
||Loss caused to the government due to corruption will be recovered from all accused.
|Small punishment for corruption- Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years.
||Enhanced punishment – The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.
Website: I Paid A Bribe
Janaagraha is a non-profit organisation based in Bangalore, India works with citizens and the government to improve the quality of life in Indian cities and towns.
ipaidabribe.com is Janaagraha’s unique initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the collective energy of citizens.
You can report on the: nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and values of actual corrupt acts on this website.
Your reports will, perhaps for the first time, provide a snapshot of bribes occurring across your city. We will use them to argue for improving governance systems and procedures, tightening law enforcement and regulation and thereby reduce the scope for corruption in obtaining services from the government.
Help in every way!!
Official Website: http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/
Lokpal in HINDI: http://lokpal-hindi.blogspot.com/
Related Links: http://www.janlokpal.net/links
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/IndiACor