The Lokpal Bill might have power concentrated on a single institution which is not healthy for a Democracy.
Lokpal shall have powers to direct the Judiciary .
This will compromise the independence of Judiciary.
Even if this proposal were to be accepted, many Constitutional amendments have to be made..
These points have to be taken note of.
The LokThe word Lokpal means an ombudsman in India. The word hs been derived from the Hindi words “lok” (people) and “pal” (protector/caretaker). So the word Lokpal means ‘Protector of people’.The concept of Lokpal has been drawn up ostensibly to root out corruption at high places in the prevailing Indian polity.
After 42 years the lokpal bill is still pending in India. The first Lokpal Bill was passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969 but could not get through in Rajya Sabha, subsequently, Lokpal bills were introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, yet they were never passed and its pending. 
The Lokpal Bill provides for filing complaints of corruption against the prime minister, other ministers, and MPs with the ombudsman. The Administrative Reforms Commission(ARC) while recommending the constitution of Lokpal was convinced that such an institution was justified not only for removing the sense of injustice from the minds of adversely affected citizens but also necessary to instill public confidence in the efficiency of administrative machinery. Following this, the Lokpal Bill was for the first time presented during the fourth Lok Sabha in 1968, and was passed there in 1969.
However, while it was pending in the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha was dissolved, resulting the first death of the bill. The bill was revived in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and most recently in 2008. Each time, after the bill was introduced to the house, it was referred to some committee for improvements – a joint committee of parliament, or a departmental standing committee of the Home Ministry – and before the government could take a final stand on the issue the house was dissolved.
The basic idea of the Lok Pal is borrowed from the office of ombudsman, which has played an effective role in checking corruption and wrong-doing in Scandinavian and other nations.In early 1960s, mounting corruption in public administration set the winds blowing in favour of an Ombudsman in India too. The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) set up in 1966 recommended the constitution of a two-tier machinery – of a Lokpal at the Centre, and Lokayukt(a)s in the states.
Prime Minister or a House of Parliament — to whom a Lokpal sends its report holds that the allegations of corruption made in a complaint against the Prime Minister, or a Minister or MP (present or past) have not been proved, “notwithstanding anything contained in any other law”, “no prosecution shall lie on any complaint, report, information or otherwise and no court shall take cognisance of any offence on the basis of the same or substantially the same allegations.”
The Lokpal is empowered to give directions for deferring or suspending any ongoing police investigations in matters covered by the complaints made to it.
There are many more gems of justice that deserve attention. Contradictory to the government’s claim that the Lokpal would provide the common man with exemplary powers to censure his/her elected representative, every complainant, the government’s ‘common man’, has to pay a fees and take full responsibility for leveling charges and in case the complaint is found to be baseless, to discourage the same ‘common man’, serious punitive action extending to two years in jail and Rs.50,000 in fine will be imposed on the complainant.
Charges of corruption in the Indian legal system are not necessarily covered only under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 but also under many other Acts, but the Lokpal restricts its ambit to the cases under this Act.
Regarding the constitution of the Lokpal, the Chairman of the Lokpal shall be from among past or present chief justices of Supreme Court. But the other two members of the Lokpal may also be from those qualified to be judges of the Supreme Court. The loose end left here makes countless many from India’s entire judiciary eligible for the post including those who are also senior party politicians with legal background.
Lokpal is highest institution in India to investigate corruption at higher places in Government. Creation of Lokpal institution is under process. Many previous attempt were unsuccessful due to lack of political support.
This institution will cover all government ministers, officers at centre including Prime Minister (Under Debate).
Differences between Draft Lokpal Bill 2010 and Jan Lokpal Bill
|Draft Lokpal Bill (2010)||Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen’s ombudsman Bill)|
|Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by LS Speaker or RS Chairman.||Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.|
|Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body. Its part is only limited to forwarding its report to the “Competent Authority”||Lokpal will be much more than an Advisory Body. It should be granted powers to initiate Prosecution against anyone found guilty.|
|Lokpal will not have any police powers. It can not register FIRs or proceed with criminal investigations.||Lokpal will have police powers. To say that it will be able to register FIRs.|
|CBI and Lokpal will have no connection with each other.||Lokpal and anti corruption wing of CBI will be one Independent body.|
|Punishment for corruption will be minimum 6 months and maximum up-to 7 years.||The punishment should be minimum 5 years and maximum up-to life imprisonment.|
|Lokpal will not be a monopoly for particular area
The existing Lokpal Bill proposed by the government is quite toothless and has glaring loopholes which make the whole anti-corruption exercise a sham exercise.The whole selection process,powers and member of Lokpal give rise to vested interests and would make it a fruitless bill.The deficiencies of the government version of the Lokpal are
a) Selection of 3 retired judges by the ruling government only to the Lokpal Panel.Gives rise to vested interests,Jan Lokpal advocates selection of any eminent citizen who has fought against corruption.Selection will be made by government,civil society members and judiciary.
b) Bureaucrats outside the purview of the Lokpal Bill,Speaker Power.This is a huge loophole as government bureaucrats have been found to be ringleaders in most corruption scams taking place in the country.The recent CVC case where PJ Thomas was implicated and Supreme Court had to force the government to remove him
c) No Sou Moto Recognition of Legal Cases – Complaints against the Legislature Members can only be made to the Speaker of Parliament who can decide.This makes no sense as Speakers in India have sullied their image with repeated partisanship to their party.Independent and impartial speakers in Indian parliaments are hard to find.Jan Lokpal can take Sou Moto cases
d) No Defence or Foreign Matter Jurisdiction – Again most of the large scams have taken place in Defence Deals.This has happened under the rule of both the main political parties.Bofors,HDW Submarine are some of the bigger Defence Scandals.Lokpal will have no authority to investigate these.The Jan Lokpal version allows investigations into such cases.Exceptions are only allowed in existing cases before judiciary or currently held legislation.It also imposes strict jail terms for corruption cases.
The Jan Lokpal Bill has the power to transform Indian state and system and have a major impact on transperency like the RTI Bill.However there are extremely powerful interests opposing this Bill..Hazare alleges the 9 member group of ministers who drafted the proposed draft bill are the most corrupt ministers.A lot of support and pressure is needed from the civil society and citizens to get this to move forward.
Taking note of the swelling support for the Anna Hazare-led campaign for a tougher Jan Lokpal Bill, the UPA government on Friday agreed to issue an order for setting up a committee comprising civil society and elected representatives to draft the law.
The decision was taken after the government brass met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the evening.
|Hazare said he would end his fast at 10 am tomorrow, when the government was expected to issue an order for the formation of the committee.
NEW DELHI: The Congress sees as a “super” government the institution of the Lokpal as proposed in the draft Jan Lokpal Bill — it would virtually run a parallel government.
It will be a “demi-God” with supreme powers to run the government, sources within the Congress party feel. It can seek the resignation of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and all Constitutional authorities with the kind of overarching powers that are being envisaged, the sources said.
The Jan Lokpal Bill, proposed by the civil society group that is now spearheading the anti-corruption crusade, seeks to include the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, bureaucracy and the judiciary within its ambit. The National Advisory Council, chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has favoured the draft Jan Lokpal Bill.