in Politics

What is Jan Lokpal Bill?

Update on 18 Oct – I have tried to answer some commonly asked questions about this movement, and also written about what all it will take to become an Anna Hazare..

I thought it right to write a post describing what Jan Lokpal Bill is and why is it needed. To give a brief history, Lokpal Bill was first introduced in parliament in 1968. It has been brought in parliament on eight times on later occasions, but has never been passed by the parliament. It is a bill that is supposed to give powers to citizens to sue the people responsible for corruption. A similar kind of independent agency disappeared corruption from Hong Kong a few decades ago.

The government is again thinking of introducing a Lokpal Bill in parliament this year, and the National Advisory Council (NAC) chaired by Sonia Gandhi is considering it. But as it stands today, the bill is riddled with loopholes, defeating its very purpose. Social activists have remarked it to be a toothless bill and not at all acceptable. An alternative bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill has been drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde (Lokayukta of Karnataka), Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal after series of consultations with public and social activists. This bill is supported by Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Anna Hazare, etc.

The Dandi March 2 event and the subsequent ‘fast unto death’ by Anna Hazare from April 5 and Aug 16 were in support of this ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’. The activists have already sent the bill to the PM and all CMs but there has been no response. After the ‘fast unto death’ was announced by Anna Hazare, he was invited for talks by the PM, but the response was bad as the PM said the government has no time for corruption till May 13. This after the numerous corruption scams like the Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Society, 2G scam being uncovered in the past months.

The Zero Rupee Note - Stop Corruption

The Zero Rupee Note - Stop Corruption

The present system to fight corruption in India can be described in some points as below –

  1. The Anti Corruption Branch and CBI comes under the government. Despite having evidence, it is very difficult to convict people as they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated.
  2. No corrupt officer is dismissed from the job because Central Vigilance Commission, which is supposed to dismiss corrupt officers, is only an advisory body. Whenever it advises government to dismiss any senior corrupt officer, its advice is never implemented.
  3. No action is taken against corrupt judges because permission is required from the Chief Justice of India to even register an FIR against corrupt judges
  4. The functioning of CBI and vigilance departments is secret and hence it promotes corruption.
  5. Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of these institutions by the government.
  6. Citizens face harassment in government offices. Sometimes they are forced to pay bribes. One can only complaint to senior officers. No action is taken on complaints because senior officers also get their cut.
  7. Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money.
  8. Small punishment for corruption- Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years.

As you can see, in the present system, there is no deterrent for any public official to engage in an act of corruption. Some of the salient features of the Jan Lokpal Bill are –

  1. An institution called LOKPAL in the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up. These institutions will completely independent of the governments, just like the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. No minister can influence their investigations.
  2. Investigation in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt officer, or politician goes to jail in two years max.
  3. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
  4. 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. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time.
  5. Election of Lokpal officials – What if government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? 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.
  6. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
  7. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
  8. The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.

Please read my two poems “Fast with Anna” and “Messenger of Hope” and join in this fight against corruption. We must remember Anna and others on fast are fighting for US and OUR India

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  1. I agree with jan lokpal bill and each indian should support Annaji.

  2. on honouring Anna’s struggle towards abolishing curreption we the students of chennai colleges are planning a silent march on 28th Aug 2011 sunday. pl join us.

  3. we appoint sarkar so why we asking bill from sarkar we will appoint our own person as sarkar
    in next election but now we stop curruption for that we also stop some most important need of government,

    salam anna

  4. Honorable ANNA JI I m with u & i think all Indians are with u except the corrupted ministers/officers/contractors/businessmen/office bearers. But Sir, I m thinking about U r the only person that who can change Indian dirty politicians. So, we(all Indians ) need you alive We actual shame on the corrupted ministers and also shamed to be an Indian.

  5. What Annaji is doing ( I have already spelled this in my previous support msgs.) is for such a great and noble cause. If this LOKPAL bill is once implemented, OUR INDIA WILL BECOME RAMA RAJYA and it is 100% true. The congress government if willing to do this because for the past 61 years they have been enjoing at the stake of common people. They have been taking undue of the votes of the common people for their own personal development. I am not for any particular political party. I was a fan of INDIRAJI and LAL BAHADUR SHASTRYJI who were from congress. At the same time I have gone against yediyurappa on whom We(all those who voted for BJP) all had full trust. Who ever comes to the seat this lokpal bill applies to that party also; In that case why this government is hesitating to implement this bill? it is just because the in this party more currupted politicians are there and if this bill is implemented all of them (99%) will go to jail. If go on saying about this currupted party there is no end. OK . Thanks for fighting for the common people. Prior to 1947, 15th Aug., somany patriots sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation; but after that day our own brothers(I am ashamed of pronouncing this word to such a currupted persons) are exploiting the common people. The currupted politicians or government officials say without this bill also everything can be controlled. If that had been there why this situation would have been created?

    Thanks and fullest support,

    S C Ananthanarayana,
    5.52 PM

  6. Hi All, This Jan Lok Pal Bill is very effect process, if it will implement India is the first country against corruption, Very good thinking and very good effect by Anna Hazare. THE NATION WILL SALUTE TO ANNA ….

  7. I must support Anna Hassare to implement this bill .May be the politicians not agree this because ,presently each one in the parliament is the supporters of any business groups .so this will not be a true in future .Every parties in parliament ( even ruling and opposition parties ) not allow to implement this .They play and going to cheat Anna Hasare.Better he stop his fast and make new party and go for election win and implement this rules.At least minimum qualification(degree) is needed for his party main member for the perfect implementation of his ideas ,it is my open ion.

  8. hi sumit, this is the time if we loose this chance then never possible to at least do some thing for common man. we must raise hand in various way against corruption ( which is possible for us).

  9. i support jan lokpal bill. because it reduce corruption of India.

  10. Respected Sumit Ji,

    Byy reading your blog now I have more knowledge about the bill.
    I with my all family members whole heartedly support Jan Lokpal Bill.
    This kind of law is the necesity for our society in today’s date. We are not allowed to live taking the right path for the prevailing situation by the grace of HUGE CORRUPTIONs everywhere in the society. Thesecorruption are being done by only the powerful people who are politicians and govt. officials, beurocrates etc.
    Those are only us, the common people, who are facing all the hurdles in every step of our day to day life.
    Jan Lokpal Bill is the last and only option for our country to ebolise crime & make our Country INDIA a corruption free society.

  11. Such a great movement, such a great support nationwide and above all what a great cause – Corruption. This movement has shown one thing that the janta of India is now awakened and looks determined to eradicate red tapism, bureaucracy and fatal disease of corruption. Guys we Jan Lokpal bill is passed then the dream of our X President Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad of making India a developed nation will certainly be true and even before 2020. The intention and aim of the bill is very clear by the team of Anna ji – shri Anna Hazare (Social Activist), Ms Kiran Bedi (First IPS Woman Officer of India) with a astonishing record in her tenure, Arvind Kejriwal (IIT) Many awards such as CNN – IBN Indian of the year. The Team Anna is well equipped with all the armour to fight against the corrups, I am with you Team Anna and definitely with your noble cause. Jai Hind.

  12. I am very much satisfied with Anna & I am with Anna, not only me but the whole nation is with you. These corrupt have to be punished, it should not matter in which position he is working.

  13. Hi to all, this movement is a meaningful one. if it win in its aim, our country will become the first in the world economy. All the prices will be reduced. the poor people will not suffer from the worries like demand . ect., i give my vote to Anna Hazare. Jai hind.

  14. Today really people got the freedom from SATTA of Politicians , Annaji has started the battle against the real enemy of our GOLDEN SPARROW .. INDIA Everyone should try to become Annaji…we really proud to have Annaji as our UNCORRUPTED LEADER.

  15. This is all to my Indian brother’s and sister and even in Meghalaya never quit until unles the government pass the lokpal bil..Jaihind

  16. Ideals r all nice on paper. But what happens in reality is of paramount importance. Instead of going for another institution we could have easily achieved better results by bringing in a law which makes it mandatory for all state and central governments who present their budgets in february also to present an actual statement of how much money was spent for different developmental works and who were the contractors at the end of the financial year. Also all tenders can also be made transperent
    I wonder why one should go for another curruption prone system ?
    I am greatly puzzled by the complete silence on the more serious aspects of social and economic inequalities in our society which is killing our country.
    Hope it is time to come out of the emotional wave

  17. i suport JAN LOKPAL bill and me,my family,frnds and whole india is with ANA ji.BHARAT MATA KI JAI 🙂 JAI HIND.Mai bhi ANA tu bhi ANA ab toh sara DESH hai ANA.

  18. i also support for the JAN LOKPAL BILL Include with my hole family,cuse we hate the CORRUPTED Peopl & we support to the Mr.Anna hazare Sir…………………..

  19. Every person should try to know what is jan lokpal bill and why it is important to us.
    Then automatically he/she will support it.We should not allow any more to steal our money to
    swiss bank

  20. I am really very happy because the days of Ghandi has come back.I support JAN LOKPAL bill.Mainly corruption leads to immense effects either directly or indirectly on public.
    So don’t encourage corruption .I congrats to ANNAJI.JAI INDIA.

  21. Anna Ji, hum aapko bahut ijjat karte hai. Aap second MAHATMA GANDHI ho aur hum aapke saath tha, hai aur hamesha rahenge. Let US KILL the DEMONS of OUR SOCIETY.

  22. I think JANLOKPAL BILL is very good to become india free from corruption.. but do u think general people will complain about the corrupt officer (middle level ) as i think they found way to realease from it……. so at small lever for. e.g. passport, ration card not possible as nobody want to interfere in it….

  23. In my view if the officer is transfer within 2 year that will be better and suppose any officer from west Bengal should be posted in Kerala and officer from Gujarat should be posted in Assam may it will be better otherwise if officer from west Bengal posted in west Bengal will under the control of upper class people or bureaucrats he will also not see the problem of lower class people. What will happen if Lokayukta will be corrupt ? who will punish him or her ? it is not sure that Lokayukta will not corrupt just see we have appointed officer for RTI. I think only 1% corruption is control but we have create a new corrupt officer. I am not say that all officer is corrupt but most officer is corrupted. in department there is corruption, suppose we go 2 make a ration card we have 2 pay more money the govt. revenue, for example in pass port office, Driving license, Electrical office, land revenue endless of department. From upper level to lower level every officers are corrupted.

    I hope this Janlokpal Bill will change the country in near future.

  24. we got a new leader like Gandhiji who fighted 4 india&4 india’s dazzling future.

  25. i am support to jan lokpal bill & i request to all indian support this…………………….

  26. i really liked it Sumit and i support jan lokpall bill. i don’t know what is hitting the govt so much that they can’t pass the jan lokpal bill. people are just fed up of this congress and want the govt to pass the jan lokpal, but what hell is troubling the govt so much that they can’t pass it. god knows what will be the future of our INDIA…..???????


  28. The immaturity of team Anna is becoming increasingly evident. Annas remarks on drunkards is simply Talibanic. Today his immediate reaction on Pawar slapping case clearly reflects that attitude and his team can not be called civil society any more. He can never be called Gandhian with such violent viewpoints.Corruptian of course is condemnable. There are lot many more effective methods to abolish corruption. Annas jan lokpal isnt the ultimate one Free and independent thinking individuals can easily visualise better models I wonder why one sould blindly follow Anna in a haste. Hero worship is infact another type of corruption the biggest sufferer of which is democracy.

  29. A great admirable movement, but its yearly expense seems to be astonishing! If Rs.200 crores is going to be spent YEARLY for stopping corruption in our country, just think then how corrupt the ministers and our political departments are!

  30. jan lokpal bill is a very good idea for abolishing corruption but congress is never going to agree to the draft proposed because the members are themselves corrupt and i really appreciate the work done by arvind kejriwal and members but i dont think there would any responce to this by the government

  31. I have working with community based activities from 16 years to HIV/AIDS feild. so i have supported annaji becouse i seen more offier and politics leader lost of realy benficers life.