Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing for a cause - Jan Lokpal Bill

Hi Readers,

Thank you so much for your love and I am obliged to have all of you as regular readers on this blog. This is your blog and you can always drop your suggestions at my email address "" and I promise (Not the Govt brand promise) to reply within 4 days. 

I wish if I could go ahead and sit with Anna for fasting, if my company would have given me few leaves. You got it...we are mango people and it's practically difficult for us to be on ground zero with Anna. This is my attempt to dedicate a post to this social cause and spread awareness about why Govt version of Lokpal Bill is not something which can help us curb the corruption.

A lot has been said and done about the Jan Lokpal bill which has been proposed eight times in the Parliament till now. We have never heard of this bill until Shri Anna Hazare raised his voice in support of a strong Jan Lokpal Bill. 

This is my attempt to make people (at least those who visit this blog) read about Govt version and civil society version of Lokpal Bill for their knowledge. There had been so many chain emails on Internet and we must accept the fact that most of the chain emails are not from the authenticated resources. Here are some extracts from various authenticated resources which can help you to understand why we should have a strong Jan Lokpal Bill.

What is Jan Lokpal:
The basic idea of the Lokpal is borrowed from the office of the ombudsman in other countries. It provides for filing complaints of corruption against the prime minister , other ministers and members of parliament with the ombudsman. Anyone, except for a public servant , can file a complaint and the Lokpal has to complete the inquiry within six months.

Myths about Civil Society Version of Jan Lokpal Bill:

Myth # 1: Draft is prepared by Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, and Arvind Kejriwal.

Reality: It is drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde (former Supreme Court Judge and former Lokayukta of Karnataka), Prashant Bhushan (Supreme Court Lawyer) and Arvind Kejriwal (RTI activist)

Myth # 2: Govt may go ahead and appoint corrupt people to run Lokpal!!!

Reality: That won't be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

Why to support Jan Lokpall Bill and Anna Hazare!!!

1. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

2. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

3. If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

4. It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.

Difference between Civil Society draft and Govt Draft of Lokpal Bill:

1. Tackling Corruption within Judiciary:

Government's Draft: A committee of three judges from samecourt will give permission for investigation against the accused judge. (How will judges from the same court give permission to investigate their colleague judge?)

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal:
A seven member bench of Lokpal will givepermission after an open hearing.

2. Tackling Corrupted MPs

Government's Draft: If a MP votes or puts up a question in parliament in return for a bribe, then he/she could be investigated by a committee of other MPs as is the present system.
(In the past 62 years, many instances of MP's taking bribe have surfaced but not even a single instance has been honestly investigated nor any MP sent to jail.)

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal:
The investigation would be done by an independent Lokpal. 

3. Tackling Corruption by PM

Government's Draft: If the PM is involved in corruption, then CBIwould investigate, not the Lokpal. (CBI directly comes under PM. How will CBIinvestigate its own boss?)

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal: Lokpal,which is an independent body,would investigate PM.(If govt.'s doesn't want PM's corruption to beinvestigated, let them amend constitution upfrontrather than making a pretense of investigations by CBI.)

4. Selection of Lokpal:

Government's Draft: a. In a ten-member Selection Committee,six are politicians, of which five will befrom the ruling party. (This kind of system will increase the probabilitythat a corrupt persons and thosefavorable to ruling party are finallyselected.)
Selection process will be decided by Selection Committee.

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal: a.Selection Committee would comprise of two politicians, four judges and head of two independent constitutional authorities.
The Search Committee would comprise of civil society members and retired constitutional authorities.
A detailed selection process has been described, which would be transparent and have people's participation

5. Accountability of Lokpal Members

Government's Draft: The members of Lokpal would be accountable to the government. Only government can file a petition in theSupreme Court for their removal.

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal: The accountability of the Lokpal members would beto the public. Any citizen can file a petition in the Supreme Court for removal of a corrupt Lokpal member.

6. Whistler-blower's Protection:

Government's Draft: The CVC is responsible of protecting thewhistleblowers. However, the CVC neither has the capacity nor the legal powers required to protect whistleblowers.

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal: It should be Lokpal's responsibility to protect the whistleblowers. The Lokpal has been given sufficient powers for the same. 

7. Punishment for Corruption:

Government's Draft: Maximum punishment for corruption is 10 years.

Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal: The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.Officers senior in rank would attract stiffer punishment. 
Click on below links for the full draft and summary of Jan Lokpal Bill.

Source: Economic TimesNDTVLokpal Bill Official Website

Note: These are the facts from authenticated resources and does not represent support to any political party. This post is not motivated by any political deliberation and it is to help people understand meaning of Jan Lokpal Bill and support the fight against corruption.  


  1. neat write up buddy. what is the use of Annas efforts after all. to be crushed down . disgusting anti-democratic behaviour.
    Jai Hind.

  2. Thanks for your views Sush...however I still believe that things will turn positive now :)

  3. ur analysis did clarify lots of anomalies. although it still does seem that the lokpal will be given absolute authority and seeing as its not an elected panel, it would be a perversion of democracy. but the life imprisonment is good

  4. A lot of research and your personal touch are what have made this post outstanding. :)

  5. I agree, I mean MANGO people agree with you and it's informative in simple language. I read Bare Acts so I can say, this is very good...:)

  6. @confusedyuppie: I agree to you when u said that being lokpal not an elected panel..makes it look like perversion of democracy...

    @Jojo & Saru: I am glad that u liked it..

  7. the test of knowledge is in its simplicity. u proved it

  8. Really wish things turn in the favor of our country now.
    Nice post :)

  9. that will clear the doubts of some skeptics...great write-up...explained in a simple way...

  10. @Sujatha: Truly quoted by you...and m glad that u liked it.
    @Serendipity: Welcome to this blog...thank you for dropping by...and u know what.."Serendipity" is my favorite movie....i can watch it any given point of time.
    @Sub: I am glad that i was able to achieve the objective of this post - i.e. simplicity :)

  11. But how is Hazare going to do it different is the question. Also, Hazare has no mandate and so how can he be made responsible if things go wrong.

  12. @Prasanna: You have a point...but the question is who can we trust on!!!!


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