Definition of Lokpal bill,“A Bill to establish an independent authority to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to detect corruption by expeditious investigation and to prosecute offenders and to ensure timely redress-al of certain types of public grievances and to provide protection to whistle blowers.”
Implementation of Lokbal bill was the main agenda of “Aam Admi Party” in February 2015 elections and it was promised that it would be passed and implemented soon if the party comes to power.
AAP dilutes the features of Lokpal bill, passes AAP Lokpal bill
AAP finally triumphed Delhi elections a year ago and after nine months, the government passed the bill in the assembly December 2015. As per the information, the features of the passed Lokpal bill 2015 were mismatching with the previous bill drafted in 2014 by AAP.
Highlights of 2015 Lokpal bill:
The new Janlokpal Bill 2015 introduced for rooting out corruption in public life.
The Bill proposed to cover any act of corruption as defined in the Prevention of Corruption Act done within territory of Delhi.
Janlokpal will consist of a three-member body having one chairperson and two members, to be collectively called Janlokpal.
Janlokpal will be selected by an independent selection committee to be headed by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, with Delhi Assembly Speaker, Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition as its members.
Chairperson or any member of the Janlokpal can only be removed by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi on the recommendation of an address by the Legislative Assembly by a majority of total membership.
AAP’s manipulative Lokpal, differs from 2014 draft
According the news reports published in media which quoted former AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan that the bill is entirely different from the bill drafted in 2014. The news reports mentioned the differences presented by Bhushan.
2014—Seven members committee comprised of CM, leader opposition, two high court judges, one person amongst former chairperson of Janlokpal and two retired SC/HC judges.
2015: The number of members reduced by AAP to four comprising of CM, leader of opposition, speaker of assembly and Chief justice of Delhi High Court. It is totally biased to appoint three members from political class out of four.
2014: Provision had been made for an independent investigation and prosecution wing to be constituted by the commission.
2015: Under the proposed bill, no independent investigation machinery has been provided. It is clear that the government officers would be approached especially during the investigations.
Jurisdiction of Lokpal
2014: The drafted Lokpal bill had no phrase such as “Janlokpal may proceed to inquire or investigate into the allegation of corruption occurring in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.”
2015: As per the proposed bill, jurisdiction of the Lokpal would be to investigate any corruption offence in Delhi, be it various agencies and functions under the central government. It means that the state Lokpal can investigate the central government as well.
Removal of Chairperson and members of Janlokpal
2014 – The Chairperson or any other member shall only be removed by the President on recommendation from the High Court after an inquiry on a complaint against the concerned.
2015– Can be removed by the Lieutenant Governor after a motion passed by the majority of the total membership and 2/3rd of members in the assembly present and voting.