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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Government Lokpal Bill Vs Jan Lokpal Bill: Comparative Chart

JanLokpalBillHow will Government’s Lokpal work?

Suppose some citizen files a complaint to Lokpal against some corrupt government servant.

Before the investigations actually start, the government servant can file a cross complaint against the citizen straight to the special court, without any preliminary enquiry by any agency, that the complaint is false or frivolous. The government will provide free advocate to the government servant to file this case. The citizen will have to defend himself on his own!

Then there is stiffer punishment for the complainant than the corrupt government servant. If the Special Court concludes that the complaint is frivolous or false, the citizen faces a minimum of two years of punishment. But if the corruption charges against government servant are proved, there is a minimum of six months of punishment for the corrupt government servant!
Government’s Lokpal will have jurisdiction over all NGOs in the country but it will have jurisdiction over less then o.5% of all government employees.

Government argued that the Lokpal would get overwhelmed with too many cases if all public servants were brought under its ambit. So, government has restricted its jurisdiction only to 65,000 Group A officers. Also, state employees will not be covered by Lokpal. There are 4 million central government employees and 8 million state government employees.

In sharp contrast, all NGOs are covered under government’s Lokpal, small or big, whether in state or centre. Even unregistered groups of people in remote villages are covered under the ambit of Lokpal. So, in a remote village, if a group of youngsters detect corruption in panchayat works using RTI, the youngsters can be hauled up by Lokpal but Lokpal would not have jurisdiction over Sarpanch, BDO or their corruption.

Whereas Lokpal would not have jurisdiction over Delhi government officials, it would have jurisdiction over all RWAs in Delhi. All small neighborhood groups who raise donations to do Ramlila or Durga Puja would be under Lokpal’s scanner.

Lokpal could haul up activists from any of the farmers, labour, anti-corruption, land, tribal or any other movements. All the movements – whether registered or not, are under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.

There are 4.3 lakh registered NGOs. But there would be several million unregistered groups across the country. Lokpal would have jurisdiction over all of them.

No one can dispute the fact that corruption in NGOs needs to be addressed. But how can you leave most public servants out of Lokpal’s purview but bring NGOs upto village level within its purview

 

Issue

View of ‘India against corruption’

Government’s view

Comments

Prime Minister

Lokpal should have power to investigate allegations of corruption against PM. Special safeguards provided against frivolous and mischievous complaints

PM kept out of Lokpal’s purview.

As of today, corruption by PM can be investigated under Prevention of Corruption Act. Government wants investigations to be done by CBI, which comes directly under him, rather than independent Lokpal

Judiciary

Lokpal should have powers to investigate allegation of corruption against judiciary. Special safeguards provided against frivolous and mischievous complaints

Judiciary kept out of Lokpal purview.

Government wants this to be included in Judicial Accountability Bill (JAB). Under JAB, permission to enquire against a judge will be given by a three member committee (two judges from the same court and retd Chief justice of the same court). There are many such flaws in JAB. We have no objections to judiciary being included in JAB if a strong and effective JAB were considered and it were enacted simultaneously.

MPs

Lokpal should be able to investigate allegations that any MP had taken bribe to vote or speak in Parliament.

Government has excluded this from Lokpal’s purview.

Taking bribe to vote or speak in Parliament strikes at the foundations of our democracy. Government’s refusal to bring it under Lokpal scrutiny virtually gives a license to MPs to take bribes with impunity.

Grievance redressal

Violation of citizen’s charter (if an officer does not do a citizen’s work in prescribed time) by an officer should be penalized and should be deemed to be corruption.

No penalties proposed. So, this will remain only on paper.

Government had agreed to our demand in the Joint committee meeting on 23rd May. It is unfortunate they have gone back on this decision.

CBI

Anti-corruption branch of CBI should be merged into Lokpal.

Government wants to retain its hold over CBI.

CBI is misused by governments. Recently, govt has taken CBI out of RTI, thus further increasing the scope for corruption in CBI. CBI will remain corrupt till it remains under government’s control

Selection of Lokpal members

1. Broad based selection committee with 2 politicians, four judges and two independent constitutional authorities. 

2. An independent search committee consisting of retd constitutional authorities to prepare first list.

3. A detailed transparent and participatory selection process.

1. With five out of ten members from ruling establishment and six politicians in selection committee, government has ensured that only weak, dishonest and pliable people would be selected. 

2. Search committee to be selected by selection committee, thus making them a pawn of selection committee

3. No selection process provided. It will completely depend on selection committee

Government’s proposal ensures that the government will be able to appoint its own people as Lokpal members and Chairperson. Interestingly, they had agreed to the selection committee proposed by us in the meeting held on 7th May. There was also a broad consensus on selection process. However, there was a disagreement on composition of search committee. We are surprised that they have gone back on the decision.

Who will Lokpal be accountable to?

To the people. A citizen can make a complaint to Supreme Court and seek removal.

To the Government. Only government can seek removal of Lokpal

With selection and removal of Lokpal in government’s control, it would virtually be a puppet in government’s hands, against whose seniormost functionaries it is supposed to investigate, thus causing serious conflict of interest.

Integrity of Lokpal staff

Complaint against Lokpal staff will be heard by an independent authority

Lokpal itself will investigate complaints against its own staff, thus creating serious conflicts of interest

Government’s proposal creates a Lokpal, which is accountable either to itself or to the government. We have suggested giving these controls in the hands of the citizens.

Method of enquiry

Method would be the same as provided in CrPC like in any other criminal case. After preliminary enquiry, an FIR will be registered. After investigations, case will be presented before a court, where the trial will take place

CrPC being amended. Special protection being provided to the accused. After preliminary enquiry, all evidence will be provided to the accused and he shall be heard as to why an FIR should not be regd against him. After completion of investigations, again all evidence will be provided to him and he will be given a hearing to explain why a case should not be filed against him in the court. During investigations, if investigations are to be started against any new persons, they would also be presented with all evidence against them and heard.

Investigation process provided by the government would severely compromise all investigations. If evidence were made available to the accused at various stages of investigations, in addition to compromising the investigations, it would also reveal the identity of whistleblowers thus compromising their security. Such a process is unheard of in criminal jurisprudence anywhere in the world. Such process would kill almost every case.

Lower bureaucracy

All those defined as public servants in Prevention of Corruption Act would be covered. This includes lower bureaucracy.

Only Group A officers will be covered.

One fails to understand government’s stiff resistance against bringing lower bureaucracy under Lokpal’s ambit. This appears to be an excuse to retain control over CBI because if all public servants are brought under Lokpal’s jurisdiction, government would have no excuse to keep CBI.

Lokayukta

The same bill should provide for Lokpal at centre and Lokayuktas in states

Only Lokpal at the centre would be created through this Bill.

According to Mr Pranab Mukherjee, some of the CMs have objected to providing Lokayuktas through the same Bill. He was reminded that state Information Commissions were also set up under RTI Act through one Act only.

Whistleblower protection

Lokpal will be required to provide protection to whistleblowers, witnesses and victims of corruption

No mention in this law.

According to govt, protection for whistleblowers is being provided through a separate law. But that law is so bad that it has been badly trashed by standing committee of Parliament last month. The committee was headed by Ms Jayanthi Natrajan. In the Jt committee meeting held on 23rd May, it was agreed that Lokpal would be given the duty of providing protection to whistleblowers under the other law and that law would also be discussed and improved in joint committee only. However, it did not happen.

Special benches in HC

High Courts will set up special benches to hear appeals in corruption cases to fast track them

No such provision.

One study shows that it takes 25 years at appellate stage in corruption cases. This ought to be addressed.

CrPC

On the basis of past experience on why anti-corruption cases take a long time in courts and why do our agencies lose them, some amendments to CrPC have been suggested to prevent frequent stay orders.

Not included

 

Dismissal of corrupt government servant

After completion of investigations, in addition to filing a case in a court for prosecution, a bench of Lokpal will hold open hearings and decide whether to remove the government servant from job.

The minister will decide whether to remove a corrupt officer or not. Often, they are beneficiaries of corruption, especially when senior officer are involved. Experience shows that rather than removing corrupt people, ministers have rewarded them.

Power of removing corrupt people from jobs should be given to independent Lokpal rather than this being decided by the minister in the same department.

Punishment for corruption

1. Maximum punishment is ten years 

2. Higher punishment if rank of accused is higher

3. Higher fines if accused are business entities

4. If successfully convicted, a business entity should be blacklisted from future contracts.

None of these accepted. Only maximum punishment raised to 10 years.

 

Financial independence

Lokpal 11 members collectively will decide how much budget do they need

Finance ministry will decide the quantum of budget

This seriously compromises with the financial independence of Lokpal

Prevent further loss

Lokpal will have a duty to take steps to prevent corruption in any ongoing activity, if brought to his notice. If need be, Lokpal will obtain orders from High Court.

No such duties and powers of Lokpal

2G is believed to have come to knowledge while the process was going on. Shouldn’t some agency have a duty to take steps to stop further corruption rather than just punish people later?

Tap phones

Lokpal bench will grant permission to do so

Home Secretary would grant permission.

Home Secretary is under the control of precisely those who would be under scanner. It would kill investigations.

Delegation of powers

Lokpal members will only hear cases against senior officers and politicians or cases involving huge amounts. Rest of the work will be done by officers working under Lokpal

All work will be done by 11 members of Lokpal. Practically no delegation.

This is a sure way to kill Lokpal. The members will not be able to handle all cases. Within no time, they would be overwhelmed.

NGOs

Only government funded NGOs covered

All NGOs, big or small, are covered.

A method to arm twist NGOs

False, Frivolous and vexatious complaints

No imprisonment. Only fines on complainants. Lokpal would decide whether a complaint is frivolous or vexatious or false.

Two to five years of imprisonment and fine. The accused can file complaint against complainant in a court. Interestingly, prosecutor and all expenses of this case will be provided by the government to the accused. The complainant will also have to pay a compensation to the accused.

This will give a handle to every accused to browbeat complainants. Often corrupt people are rich. They will file cases against complainants and no one will dare file any complaint. Interestingly, minimum punishment for corruption is six months but for filing false complaint is two years.


(Source: ‘India against corruption’)

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Nisha Bawaleka
United Kingdom
08/25/2011
04:20 pm

what will be the effect of lokpal bill

In 1982, In Singapore, LOKPAL BILL was implemented and 142 Corrupt Ministers & Officers were arrested in one single day..

Today Singapore has only 1% poor people & no taxes are paid by the people to the government, 92% Literacy Rate, Better Medical Facilities, Cheaper Prices, 90% Money is white & Only 1% Unemployment exists.. Jay Bharat Mata Ki

SUSHIL KUMAR
VILL - HAIDERABAD DISTIC - BASTI UTTAR PARDESH
08/24/2011
05:04 pm

ANNA TUM SANGARSH KARO HUM TUMHARE SAATH HAIN

gopal krishan dubey
jail chowk near c.g. school bilaspur chhatisgarh
08/24/2011
12:55 am

ANNA HAZARE IS FIGHTING AGAINST CORRUPTION AND HE WANTS GOVERNMENT TO MAKE JAN LOK PAL BILL BECAUSE THIS DRAFT IS A COMPLETE BILL AGAINST CORRUPTION AND CORRUPT PERSONS.

Sushmit anand
Bhagalpur (Bihar)
08/21/2011
12:22 pm

Lokpal bill is not powerful bill. it’s just a joke given by the government of India, there is no powerful norms in this bill, on other hand jan lokpal bill is a good bill and it is a powerful bill , Primeminister, all minister and MPs , all class officer is under jan lokpal bill. In this present situation jan lokpal bill has powerful arms for reducing the corruption.

KMM
Mumbai
08/21/2011
02:30 am

Interesting! I started having some discomfort about Jan Lokpal; surely govt version is a trash. Looks like Jan lokpal was made by some very frustrated and angry people. Looks like they want to do everything on their own while retaining the complete power. Anna’s intentions are good but imagine if the Lokpal is infiltrated then forget about the comman man, even government will be scared of Lokpal and everyone will be like toy to them.
The bill has to be more reasonable, it should cover the existing flaws but definitely not abandon the current structure.

Rupesh
08/21/2011
12:40 am

Government bill is ridiculous. It is for protection to corrupt. Surprisingly it comes through the party headed by Manmohan Singh, who had clean image but no more.

Prabhas Chandra
Lucknow -226016
08/19/2011
05:13 am

under sec.27(1)&(2) of the proposed bill Lokpa lwill not require any sanction to start investigations against public servants.But sub sec.(3) of the same sec.27 state that nothing contained in sub sections(1)&(2)will apply & Lokpal will have to ask for permission to start investigations against those people holding the office in pursuance of constitution& in respect of which a procedure of removal of such person have been specified.Ministers appointed by President on the recommendations of PM would take advantage of these provisions.Similar is the case with MPs.
Also under sec.51 of the proposed bill there is provision that no suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings under this act can be used against any public servant in respect of any thing done in good faith or intended to be done in discharge of his official function or in exercise of his power.

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