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Govt Lokpal Bill vs Jan Lokpal Bill

Govt Lokpal Bill vs Jan Lokpal Bill

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A quick look at the major differences between Govt's and Civil Society's version of Lokpal Bill
A quick look at the major differences between Govt's and Civil Society's version of Lokpal Bill

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Published by: Shivendra Singh Chauhan on Jun 22, 2011
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Date: June 22, 2011
This law will have jurisdiction over 65,000 central government employees, 4.5 lakh registered NGOs,lakhs of movements (and unregistered NGOs) and no companies.It applies to only Group A officers of central government, but does not apply to other centralgovernment employees. It does not apply to any state government employee. However, it applies to allstate and central NGOs  whether registered or not.Minimum punishment against a corrupt person is six months. Minimum punishment against falsecomplainant is two years.Government will provide the lawyer and expenses to the corrupt officer to file a case against hiscomplainant.
Issue Our view Governments view Comments
PrimeMinisterLokpal should havepower to investigateallegations of corruptionagainst PM. Specialsafeguards providedagainst frivolous andmischievous complaintsPM kept out of Lokpals purview.As of today, corruption by PM canbe investigated under Preventionof Corruption Act. Governmentwants investigations to be doneby CBI, which comes directlyunder him, rather thanindependent LokpalJuduciary Lokpal should havepowers to investigateallegation of corruptionagainst judiciary. Specialsafeguards providedagainst frivolous andmischievous complaintsJudiciary kept out of Lokpal purview.Government wants this to beincluded in Judicial AccountabilityBill (JAB). Under JAB, permissionto enquire against a judge will begiven by a three membercommittee (two judges from thesame court and retd Chief justiceof the same court). There aremany such flaws in JAB. We haveno objections to judiciary beingincluded in JAB if a strong andeffective JAB were considered andit were enacted simultaneously.MPs Lokpal should be able toinvestigate allegationsthat any MP had takenbribe to vote or speak inParliament.Government hasexcluded this fromLokpals purview.Taking bribe to vote or speak inParliament strikes at thefoundations of our democracy.Governments refusal to bring itunder Lokpal scrutiny virtuallygives a license to MPs to takebribes with impunity.Grievance Violation of citizens No penalties Government had agreed to our
redressal charter (if an officerdoes not do a citizenswork in prescribed time)by an officer should bepenalized and should bedeemed to becorruption.proposed. So, this willremain only on paper.demand in the Joint committeemeeting on 23
May. It isunfortunate they have gone backon this decision.CBI Anti-corruption branchof CBI should be mergedinto Lokpal.Government wants toretain its hold overCBI.CBI is misused by governments.Recently, govt has taken CBI outof RTI, thus further increasing thescope for corruption in CBI. CBIwill remain corrupt till it remainsunder governments controlSelection of Lokpalmembers1. Broad based selectioncommittee with 2politicians, four judgesand two independentconstitutionalauthorities.2. An independentsearch committeeconsisting of retdconstitutionalauthorities to preparefirst list.3. A detailed transparentand participatoryselection process.1. With five out of tenmembers from rulingestablishment and sixpoliticians in selectioncommittee,government hasensured that onlyweak, dishonest andpliable people wouldbe selected.2. Search committeeto be selected byselection committee,thus making them apawn of selectioncommittee3. No selection processprovided. It willcompletely depend onselection committeeGovernments proposal ensuresthat the government will be ableto appoint its own people asLokpal members and Chairperson.Interestingly, they had agreed tothe selection committee proposedby us in the meeting held on 7
 May. There was also a broadconsensus on selection process.However, there was adisagreement on composition of search committee. We aresurprised that they have goneback on the decision.Who willLokpal beaccountableto?To the people. A citizencan make a complaint toSupreme Court and seekremoval.To the Government.Only government canseek removal of LokpalWith selection and removal of Lokpal in governments control, itwould virtually be a puppet ingovernments hands, againstwhose seniormost functionaries itis supposed to investigate, thuscausing serious conflict of interest.Integrity of Lokpal staff Complaint against Lokpalstaff will be heard by anindependent authorityLokpal itself willinvestigate complaintsagainst its own staff,thus creating seriousconflicts of interestGovernments proposal creates aLokpal, which is accountableeither to itself or to thegovernment. We have suggestedgiving these controls in the handsof the citizens.
Method of enquiryMethod would be thesame as provided inCrPC like in any othercriminal case. Afterpreliminary enquiry, anFIR will be registered.After investigations, casewill be presented beforea court, where the trialwill take placeCrPC being amended.Special protectionbeing provided to theaccused. Afterpreliminary enquiry,all evidence will beprovided to theaccused and he shallbe heard as to why anFIR should not be regdagainst him. Aftercompletion of investigations, againall evidence will beprovided to him andhe will be given ahearing to explain whya case should not befiled against him in thecourt. Duringinvestigations, if investigations are tobe started against anynew persons, theywould also bepresented with allevidence against themand heard.Investigation process provided bythe government would severelycompromise all investigations. If evidence were made available tothe accused at various stages of investigations, in addition tocompromising the investigations,it would also reveal the identity of whistleblowers thuscompromising their security. Sucha process is unheard of in criminal jurisprudence anywhere in theworld. Such process would killalmost every case.LowerbureaucracyAll those defined aspublic servants inPrevention of CorruptionAct would be covered.This includes lowerbureaucracy.Only Group A officerswill be covered.One fails to understandgovernments stiff resistanceagainst bringing lowerbureaucracy under Lokpals ambit.This appears to be an excuse toretain control over CBI because if all public servants are broughtunder Lokpals jurisdiction,government would have noexcuse to keep CBI.Lokayukta The same bill shouldprovide for Lokpal atcentre and Lokayuktas instatesOnly Lokpal at thecentre would becreated through thisBill.According to Mr PranabMukherjee, some of the CMs haveobjected to providing Lokayuktasthrough the same Bill. He wasreminded that state InformationCommissions were also set upunder RTI Act through one Actonly.WhistleblowerprotectionLokpal will be requiredto provide protection toNo mention in thislaw.According to govt, protection forwhistleblowers is being provided

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This law will have jurisdiction over 65,000 central government employees, 4.5 lakhregistered NGOs, lakhs of movements (and unregistered NGOs) and no companies.It applies to only Group A officers of central government, but does not apply toother central government employees. It does not apply to any state governmentemployee. However, it applies to all state and central NGOs – whether registered orn
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