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Essay on “Jan Lokpal Bill” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Jan Lokpal Bill

Essay No. 1

A Lokpal is a proposed ombudsman (Legal Representative) in India. The word has been derived from the Sanskrit words “Lok” (people) and “pal” (protector/caretaker). So the word Lokpal means ‘caretaker of people’.

The first Jan Lokpal Bill was proposed in 1968 and passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969 but could not get through the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, Lokpal bills were introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005, and in 2008, yet they were never passed. 42 years after its first introduction, the Lokpal Bill is Still pending in India.

The Lokpal Bill provides for filing complaints of corruption against the prime minister, other ministers, and MP8 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 deeply affected citizens but also necessary to instill public confidence in the efficiency of the 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, and so the bill was not passed at that time. The bill was revived several times in the subsequent years, 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 again. Several conspicuous flaws have been cited in the recent draft of the Lokpal Bill. The basic idea of the Lokpal is borrowed from the office of the ombudsman, which has the Administrative Reforms Committee of a Lokpal at the Centre, and Lokayukta(s) in the states.

Anna Hazare fought for this bill to get passed and it did on Dec 27, 2011, around 9:30 with modifications (proposed as the Ian Lokpal Bill). However, Hazare, his team, and other political parties claim that the Lokpal Bill passed is weak and would not serve its intended purpose. So the proposed bill by the ruling Congress Party is yet to get acceptance from the Rajya Sabha. As of Dec 29, 2011, the bill has been referred to the next parliamentary session amid lots of drama and disruption by the LIP, RID, and SP parties. The media at large and the opposition parties have claimed the situation to be staged.

 

Lokpal Bill

Essay No. 2

The Jan Lokpal Bill also referred to as the citizen’s ombudsman bill is a proposed independent anti-corruption law in India. Anti-corruption social activists proposed it 25 more effective improvements to the original Lokpal bill, which is currently being proposed by the Government of India.

Below are some of the Salient Features of the Initial Govt. Lokpal Bill:

  • Lokpal can investigate Prime Minister only after he demise office
  • Lokpal will have powers to investigate and prosecute all ministers, MPs, and MLAs except on their conduct in their respective legislative bodies and all gazetted level government officials.
  • Seven-year time limit from the date of offense mentioned for investigating a complaint.
  • Punishment for corruption by public servants increased from seven to ten years
  • No recommendation can be made without hearing the public servant against whom the complaint has been found to be true.
  • Respective ministers will decide whether to accept Lokpal’s recommendation or not against corrupt officials. Chairpersons of legislative bodies will decide in the case of elected representatives and PM in the case of central ministers.
  • The bill provides up to two years of punishment and up to Rs.2 lakh fine for false or frivolous complaints, Public servants will also be able to seek compensation from the complaint.
  • The bill provides for mandatory declaration of assets by all public servants and their family members once a year and to be placed in the public domain.

 

 

Jan Lokpal Bill

Essay No. 3

The Jan Lokpal Bill also referred to as the citizens’ ombudsman bin, is a proposed independent anti-corruption law in India. Anti-corruption social activists proposed it as a more effective improvement .to the original Lokpal bill, which is currently being proposed by the Government of India.

The Jan Lokpal Bill aims to effectively deter corruption, redress grievances of citizens, and protect whistle-blowers. If made into law, the bill would create an independent ombudsman body called the Lokpal. It would be empowered to register and investigate complaints of corruption against politicians and bureaucrats without prior government approval.

In April 2011, civil activist Anna Hazare started a Satyagraha movement by commencing an indefinite fast in New Delhi to demand the passing of the bill. The movement attracted attention in the media, and hundreds of thousands of supporters, in part due to the organizational skills of Arvind Kejriwal. Following Hazare’s four-day hunger strike, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the bill would be re-introduced in the 2011 monsoon session of the Parliament. Accordingly, a committee of five Cabinet Ministers and five social activists attempted to draft a compromise bill merging the two versions but failed. The Indian government went on to propose its own version in the parliament, which the activists Rejected on the grounds of not being sufficiently effective, and called it a “toothless bill”.

 

Key features of Proposed Bill

Some important features of the proposed bill are:

  1. To establish a central government anti-corruption institution called Lokpal, supported by Lokayukta at the state level.
  1. As in the case of the Supreme Court and Cabinet Secretariat, the Lokpal will be supervised by the Cabinet Secretary and the Election Commission. As a result, it will be completely independent of the government and free from ministerial influence in its investigations.
  1. Members will be appointed by judges, Indian Administrative Service officers with a clean record, private citizens, and constitutional authorities through a transparent and participatory process.
  1. A selection committee will invite short-listed candidates for interviews, video recordings of which will thereafter be made public.
  1. Every month on its website, the Lokayukta will publish a list of cases dealt with, brief details of each, their outcome and any action taken or proposed. It will also publish lists of all cases received by the Lokayukta during the previous month, cases dealt with, and those which are pending.
  1. Investigations of each case must be completed in one year. Any resulting trials should be concluded in the following year, giving a total maximum process time of two years.
  1. Losses to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction.
  1. Government office work required by a citizen that is not completed within a prescribed time period will result in Lokpal imposing financial penalties on those responsible, which will then be given as compensation to the complainant.
  1. Complaints against any officer of Lokpal will be investigated and completed within a month and, if found to be substantive, will result in the officer being dismissed within two months.
  1. The existing anti-corruption agencies [CVC], departmental vigilance, and the anti-corruption branch of the [CBI] will be merged into Lokpal which will have complete power authority to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge, or politician.
  1. Whistle-blowers who alert the agency to potential corruption cases will also be provided with protection by it.

Difference between Governments and Activist Drafts Highlights

Difference between Ian Lokpal Bill

And Draft Bill 2010

 

Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill)

Draft Lokpal Bill (2010)

Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo motu action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. Lokpal will have the power to initiate prosecution of anyone found guilty. Lokpal will have police powers as well as the ability to register FIRs. Lokpal and the anti-corruption wing of the CBI will be one independent body. Punishments will be a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up to life imprisonment.

 

Campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill

The first version of the Lokpal Bill drafted by the Government of India in 2010 was considered ineffective by anti-corruption activists from civil society. These activists, under the banner of India against Corruption, came together to draft a citizen’s version of the Lokpal Bill later called the Ian Lokpal. Public awareness drives and protest marches were carried out to campaign for the bill. However, public support for the Ian Lokpal Bill draft started gathering steam after Anna Hazare, a noted Gandhian announced that he would hold an indefinite fast from 5 April 201 1 for the passing of the Lokpal/ Jan Lokpal bill. The government has however accepted it.

To dissuade Hazare from going on an indefinite hunger strike, the Prime Minister’s Office directed the ministries of personnel and law to examine how the views of society activists can be included in the Lokpal Bill. On 5 April, the National Advisory Council rejected the Lokpal bill drafted by the government. Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal then met social activists Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal on 7 April to find ways to bridge differences over the bill. However, no consensus could be reached on 7 April owing to several differences of opinion between the social activists and the Government.

 

Fast & Agitation -Phase 1

On 7 April 201 1 Anna Hazare called for a Jail Bharo Andolan (translation: Fill jail movement) from 13 April to protest against the Government’s rejection of their demands. Anna Hazare also Claimed that his group has received six crores (60 million) text messages of support and that he had further her backing from a large number of Internet activists. The outpouring of support was largely free of political overtones; political parties were specifically discouraged from participating in the movement.

The fast ended on 9 April, after 98 hours, when the Government accepted most demands due to public pressure, Anna Hazare set a 15 August deadline for the passing of the hill in the Parliament, failing which he would start a hunger strike from 16 August. The fast also led to the Government of India agreeing to set up a Joint Drafting Committee, which would complete its work by 30 June.

 

Drafting Committee

Salman Khurshid, the Minister of the Law and Justice is part of the drafting committee. The drafting committee was officially formed on 8 April 2011. It consisted of the following ten members, including five from the government and five drawn from civil society.

 

Member                                                     Qualifications and status

Pranab Mukherjee                                    Finance Minister, Co-Chairman

Shanti Bhushan                                          Former Minister of Law and Justice, Co-Chairman

P.Chidambaram                                        Minister of Home Affairs

Veerappa Moily                                         Minister of Corporate Affairs

Kapil Sibal                                                   Minister for Human Resource & Development

Salman Khursid                                        Minister of Law

Anna Hazare                                               Social Activist

Prashant Bhushan                                              Lawyer

Santosh Hegde                            Former Lokayukta (Karnataka) and Supreme Court Justice

Arvind Kejriwal                                        RTI Activist.

The Government’s handling of the formation of the draft committee, involving the civil society in preparation of the draft Lokpal bill, was criticized by various political parties including BIP, BID, TDP, AIADMK, CPI-M, RID, ID(U), and Samajwadi Party.

The committee failed to agree on the terms of a compromise bill and the government introduced its own version of the bill in the parliament in August 2011.

 

Fast & Agitation Phase 2

However, the Joint Drafting Committee failed to reach a conclusion and the five members of the Government on the panel came up with their own version of the bill, which was considered by Anna and his team as weak and will facilitate the corrupt to go free apart from several other differences. To protest against this, Anna Hazare announced an “Indefinite Fast” (not to be confused with “Fast until death”). Anna and his team asked for permission from Delhi Police for their fast and agitation at Jamar Mantar or IP Park. Delhi Police gave its permission with certain conditions. These conditions were considered by team Anna as restrictive and against the fundamental constitutional rights and they decided to defy the conditions. Delhi Police imposed sec 144 CrPC.

On 16 Aug, Anna Hazare was taken into preventive custody by Delhi Police. Senior officers of Delhi Police reached Anna Hazare’s flat early in the morning and informed him that he could not leave his home. However, Hazare turned down the request following which he was detainedAnna in his recorded address to the nation before his arrest asked his supporters n0t to stop the agitation and urged the protesters to remain peaceful. Other members of “India Against Corruption”, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Kumar Vishwas, and Manish Sisodia were also taken into preventive custody. Kiran Bedi described the situation as resembling a kind of Emergency (referring to the Emergency imposed in 1975 by the Indira Gandhi Govt).

The arrest resulted in a huge public outcry and under pressure, the government released him on the evening of 16 Aug. However, Anna Hazare refused to come out of Jail, starting his indefinite fast from Jail itself. Manish Sisodia explained his situation as “Anna said that he left home to go to IP Park to conduct his fast and that is exactly where he would go from here (Tihar Jail). He has refused to be released till he is given written, unconditional permission”. Unwilling to use forces owing to the sensitive nature of the case, the jail authorities had no option but to let Anna spend the night inside Tihar. Later on 17 Aug, Delhi Police permitted Anna Hazare and the team to use the Ramlila Maidan for the proposed fast and agitation withdrawing most of the contentious provisions they had imposed earlier. The indefinite fast and agitation began in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi, and went on for around 288 hours (12 days from 16-August-2011 to 28-August-2011). Some of the Lokpal drafting committee members became dissatisfied with Hazare’s tactics as the hunger strike went on for the 11th day: Santosh Hegde, a member of the Hazare team who headed the Karnataka Lokayukta, strongly criticized Hazare for his insistence of “having his way”, concluding “I feel I am not in Team Anna any more by the way things are going. These (telling Parliament what to do) are not democratic things.” Swami Agnivesh, another central figure in the Hazare group also distanced himself.

 

Notable Supporters and Opposition

In addition to the activists responsible for creating and organizing support for the bill, a wide variety of Other notable individuals have also stated that they support this bill. Spiritual leaders Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Yog Gum Ramdev expressed support. Notable politicians who indicated support for the bill include Ajit Singh and Manpreet Singh Badal as well as the principal opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party. In addition, numerous Bollywood actors, directors, and musicians publicly approved of the bill.

Notable opposition to the activists’ version of the Bill was expressed by HRD minister Kapil Sibal and Other Congress leaders; Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamta Banerjee; Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal; Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Jagdish Sharan Verma. Although BIP showed their support earlier, there were reports that BIP shared Congress’s concern “over letting the civil society gain the upper hand over Parliament in lawmaking”. The All-India Confederation of SC/ ST Organizations, representing the Dalits and backward castes, also expressed opposition to the bill proposed by Anna Hazare as well as to the government’s version of the bill The confederation opposed Hazare’s proposed bill saying that it will be above the constitution and that proposers of the bill have support from elements who oppose reservation.

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  1. Wonderful information…

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