AAP's Janlokpal is weaker than Central Govt's Lokpal


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The AAP Jan Lokpal Search Committee specifically tilts towards person with legal experience and further includes members having investigative journalism experience. This is clearly an attempt to install Prashant Bhusan and AAP’s media friends in the Search Committee...

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AAP's Janlokpal is weaker than Central Govt's Lokpal

  1. 1. Differences Central - Lokpal AAP Jan Lokpal Comments Appointment of Lokpal Members: Lokpal will be selected 5 members: by PM, Leader of Opposition, Speaker, CJI, and one jurist nominated by these 4. Experience: The Search Committee shall consist of person having special knowledge and expertise in the matters relating to anti- corruption policy, public administration, vigilance, policy making, finance including insurance and banking, law and management with experience of 25 years Members: Lokpal will be appointed by a Committee that shall be Constituted by the Lieutenant Governor and also consist of Chief Minister who will be the Chairperson of Selection Committee, Leader of Opposition, 2 Judges of High Court and One person amongst the previous Chairperson of the Janlokpal Experience: As per the AAP Jan Lokpal, the Search Committee shall compromise of one third of the members of having extensive and outstanding experience of law and the remaining with experience of vigilance or investigation or investigative journalism or public administration or finance or retired senior officer of armed forces. The experience of members shall not be less than 20 years. Members: The Central Lokpal Selection Committee is a fairly balanced committee comprising representative of Legislative, Executive and Judiciary while on the other hand AAP Jan Lokpal attempts to create to concentrate power in Judiciary and the Chief Minster. The Selection Committee attempts to include One person amongst the previous Chairperson of the Janlokpal which can be seen as the precursor to dominating the Selection Committee. Experience: The AAP Jan Lokpal Search Committee specifically tilts towards person with legal experience and further includes members having investigative journalism experience. This is clearly an attempt to install Prashant Bhusan and AAP’s media friends in the Search Committee. It is also curious to note that Shanti Bhusan and Prashant Bhushan are well known for their aggressive campaign against corruption in judiciary and had told the Supreme Court that
  2. 2. at least eight of the 16 chief justices of India (CJIs) were "definitely corrupt. Recommendation and this definitive tilt towards judiciary and legal fraternity is completely contradictory of to their stand on the issue so far. Inclusion of NGOs Government’s Lokpal will have jurisdiction over all NGOs in the country which are provided by government funds. Lokpal jurisdiction includes society or association of persons or trust (whether registered under any law for the time being in force or not) in receipt of any donation from any foreign source under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 in excess of ten lakh rupees in a year or such higher amount by Central Government No mention of NGO in the AAP Jan Lokpal attempted to be placed in Delhi Legislative Assembly NGOs in the AAP Jan Lokpal were kept out of its purview to keep the funding sources of AAP outside the preview of Lokpal. Recently, Arvind Kejriwal's close aide, Manish Sisodia, is alleged to have diverted foreign funds meant for his NGO, Kabir, for personal use. The NGO had received more than Rs 2 crore in foreign contributions between 2005-06 and 2010-11. In 2011, when Prashant Bhushan strongly argued that NGOs should be kept out of the Lokpal Bill’s purview, a committee member objected saying that all NGOs are not angels which have descended from heaven and there are some corrupt ones as well. Inclusion / Exclusion of MP / MLA CM / PM Jurisdiction of Lokpal to include Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Groups A, B, C and D officers and officials of Central Government The AAP’s Lokpal will not inquire or cause inquiry or investigation to be conducted into any matter with respect to any matter of corruption against any Member of Legislative Assembly of Delhi. Contrary to the continuous demand for inclusion of Prime Minister in the Central Lokpal, the state Lokpal Bill excludes the Member of Legislative Assembly of Delhi from its jurisdiction
  3. 3. Frivolous complaints Any person making a false complaint can be jailed for one year and imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year Penalty for frivolous complaint is up to Rs 1 lakh; no imprisonment The Centre Government bill contains appropriate deterrent in case any false or frivolous complaint is filed. Repeal of Existing Laws Centre’s provides guideline to every State to establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta for the State, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State Legislature, to deal with complaints relating to corruption against certain public functionaries, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act. The Legislative Assembly Lokpal bill attempted to repeal the existing The Delhi Lokayukta and UPA - Lokayukta and The Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Act, 2011) which already existed. Reporting of Work The duty of the Lokpal to present annually to the President a report on the work done by the Lokpal Under AAP Lokpal it will be the Commission comprising the Chairperson and other Member of Janlokpal to present annually a report on the work done The Lokpal ideally should hold the authority to report the matter rather the “Commission” whose responsibility ends with the selection of Lokpal. It appears that under structure of AAP Lokpal the authority of Lokpal is compromised and will be subjected to scrutiny of “Commission” Prosecution The prosecution of public servants in relation to any offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 Prosecution of public servants under the AAP Lokpal unclear and ambiguous Selection Committee Includes the Speaker of the House of the People Does not Include the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly The Speaker is an important functionary of the legislative and acts as a presiding officer, hence the inclusion would have increased the depth of the Selection Committee. Filing of the Report The Director of Prosecution shall, after having been so directed by the Lokpal, file a case in accordance with the findings of investigation report. The Director of Prosecution shall file the case within 30 days after approval from Lokpal Undue haste and shoddy investigation will be undertake if appropriate time is not given for investigation.
  4. 4. Important Differences between the Jan Lokpal Bill & AAP Jan Lokpal Jurisdiction In Respect Of Inquiry The Jurisdiction In Respect Of Inquiry in case of Centre’s Lokpal provide definitive scope of persons/ organization/ corporation / authority or company/ Society/ Trust. The inquiry can only be filed against the “public servants” and “such other person” Ambiguous and imprecise jurisdiction under AAP. The organization/ corporation / authority or company are clearly let off. Policy Decision and Authority Transparent and participative and clearly defines the role and power of Lokpal All policy decision under the Act including the assignment, Transfer of Cases, delegation of function and power to be taken by the “Commission” The power and authority seems to be concentrated in the “Commission” rather Lokpal Power of Lokpal Lokpal to act as the final appellate authority in respect of appeals arising out of any other law for the time being in force providing for delivery of public services and redressal of public grievances by any public authority in cases where the decision contains findings of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The AAP Lokpal may make any recommendation to the public authority to stay the implementation or enforcement or any decision. The public Authority shall either comply with the recommendation or reject the recommendation made within 30 days failing which the recommendation so made shall be deemed to have been accepted. Clear authoritarian role of AAP- Lokpal seen. This is bound to create unnecessary friction and struggle with the local public authority. Grant of Immunity The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to act as guiding force A grant of immunity to bribe giver can be provided by special court. Any illegal gratification needs to be strictly dealt with and any immunity provided will make the Lokpal toothless.