Lokpal bill and the role of civil society

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This presentation describes what is Lokpal bill, why it is needed and the difference between Governments draft and Civil society's draft of the bil etc.

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Lokpal bill and the role of civil society

  1. 1. Topic : “The lokpal bill and the role of civil SocieTy” Presenentation by: Umesh Bhosale
  2. 2. CONTENTS: 1. Introduction: 2. Focus Questions: i)What is Lokpal? ii)What is the need of Lokpal? iii)Role of Anna Hazare and civil society in making of Lokpal? a]Criticism iv)What are the main provisions in Lokpal Bill,2011? v)Comparison between Governments Bill and Janlokpal Bill. vi)Can Lokpal Bill really root out the problem of Corruption? 3.Conclusion: 4.Reference And Bibliography:
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION:  As we know that corruption is far increasing in India and it is now becoming a threat to the democracy of India. Basically I was not aware about the lokpal bill, discussions were going about Lokpal Bill in the media. So I was curious to know about the topic, that’s why I have chosen this topic. This topic basically covers the meaning of Lokpal, its need and its implementation in India. This topic also covers the difference between Janlokpal Bill and Lokpal Bill 2011 .
  4. 4. MY FOCUS QUESTIONS: i] What is Lokpal Bill and what is the need of Lokpal Bill? ii] What was the role of Anna Hazare and his civil society in the making of Lokpal? iii] What are the main provisions in Lokpal bill 2011? iv] What are the differences between Janlokpal Bill and government Lokpal Bill? v] Can Lokpal Bill really root out the problem of corruption?
  5. 5. WHAT IS LOKPAL ?  The word Lokpal, means an ombudsman, has been derived from the Sweden, drawn up ostensibly to root out corruption at high places the prevailing in Indian polity. It has been created to provide immunity to the corrupt at all levels that it claims to bring under its ‘objective’ scrutiny.  The basic idea of the institution of Lokpal was borrowed from the concept of Ombudsman in countries such as Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, U.K. and New Zealand. In 1995, the European Union created the post of European Ombudsman. Presently, about 140 countries have the office of the Ombudsman.
  6. 6. CONT…..  The Ombudsman is an institution, independent of the judiciary, executive and legislature and analogous with that of a high judicial functionary. He is mostly free to choose his investigation method and agency. The expenditure of the office is under Parliamentary control.
  7. 7. NEED OF LOKPAL BILL:  In 2011, India ranked 95th in the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International. A recent survey estimated that corruption in India had cost billions of dollars and threatened to derail growth. India lost a staggering $462 billion in illicit financial flows due to tax evasion, crime and corruption post-Independence, according to a report released by Washington- based Global Financial Integrity.  The current anti-corruption institutions in India such as CBI,CVC have drawbacks and limitations so there is a need of some institution which will be specially designed to investigate corruption.
  8. 8. CONT……  The least corrupt countries in the world such as Finland ,Sweden ,Norway have institution like Ombudsman. It means that institutions like Lokpal(ombudsman) have been successful internationally.  For the transparent investigation of corruption effective Lokpal Bill is must. Lokpal is such an important and useful bill but due to political inactiveness and for the sake of political profit still it is not passed in parliament and over the years its cost is increasing.
  9. 9. ROLE OF ANNA HAZARE AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN MAKING OF LOKPAL BILL:  In April 5, 2011, Anna Hazare, a 74 year-old Social- Activist, initiated fast unto death Satyagraha movement, using nonviolent means, pressed for passing a stronger anti-corruption Lokpal (ombudsman) bill in the Indian Parliament.  The peaceful movement led by Hazare was joined by people of all ages. Social activists, including Medha Patkar, Arvind Kejriwal, and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi lent their support. People showed support in social media. In addition to spiritual leaders Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh and former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, many celebrities supported him. And for the first time in decades it saw the urban middle class emerge spontaneously on the streets in huge number for a para-political cause.
  10. 10. CONT…..  Due to the increasing support for the movement the Government accepted the movement's demands. On 9, April it issued a notification in the Gazette of India on formation of a joint committee.  When government prepared the draft of Lokpal Bill civil society opposed it and Anna Hazare decided to begin the fast again. Government said that Team Anna is blackmailing the government to accept their demands.  Over the period there were differences between Team Anna ,many members left the team stating that the team was becoming political. One of the members Arvind Kejriwal established his own political party.
  11. 11. CRITICISM:  Extra-constitutional: Some critics described JanLokpal as a monster institution because of extensive power the Bill have. Some criticized saying that centralising powers in Lokpal, which was a non-elected entity, was anti-democratic.  Accusation of being Anti-dalit: Some dalit institutions described Anna’s campaign as anti- dalit and manuvadi. It said that Anna’s campaign reflects Hinduism.  Hazare and his team was accused of working for RSS and BJP's behest.
  12. 12. WHAT ARE THE MAIN PROVISION IN THE LOKPAL BILL 2011?  As given in the draft “Lokpal Bill 2011 is A bill to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”  Draft of Lokpal Bill 2011 comprises of 15 chapters which have 63 clauses.
  13. 13. IMPORTANT PROVISIONS: i] Lokpal will have nine members including a chairperson who is or has been a Chief Justice Of India,or has been a judge of Supreme Court or an eminent person. ii] Fifty percent of the members of Lokpal shall be persons belonging to SC,ST,OBC and women. iii] Prime Minister will be chairperson of the selection Committee which will appoint Lokpal and its members . It will comprise of Speaker of the house, Leader of the opposition, Chief Justice Of India or a judge of Supreme Court nominated by him , one eminent jurist nominated by the president.
  14. 14. CONT….. iv] Lokayukta in every state will consist of a chairperson and eight other members. v] Lokayukta and other members will be appointed by governor of which CM of the state will be chairman of the selection committee. vi] The Central Bureau of investigation will not be controlled administratively by Lokpal. v] Lokpal will have no jurisdiction as far as PM is concerned and with the issues related international relations, external and internal security ,public order ,atomic energy and space.
  15. 15. CONT….. vi] Lokpal cannot have power to initiate proceedings against an officer on its own ; a complaint has to be lodged wit the ombudsman before it orders an inquiry. vii] Lokpal has the power to recommend central government transfer and suspension of public servant with allegation of corruption. vii] Lokpal shall constitute as an enquiry wing. Provided that till such time it is constituted central government shall make available such number of officers and other staff from its ministries or departments.
  16. 16. CONT……. viii] Lokpal shall also constitute as a prosecution wing. Provided that till such time it is constituted central government shall make available such number of officers and other staff from its ministries or departments ix] Lokpal can recommend corruption cases to agencies like Central Vigilance Commission and will have to submit report to Lokpal after an enquiry.
  17. 17. COMPARISON BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS LOKPAL BILL AND JANLOKPAL BILL:  The civil society criticized the Governments Draft of Lokpal Bill on various issues. And then it came with their on draft known as the Janlokpal Bill. They claimed that this bill is strong enough to prevent corruption.  The difference between Jan lokpal Bill and Governments Bill is compared in the following slides-
  18. 18. Topic Janlokpal Bill Lokpal Bill 1]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. 2]CBI Anti-corruption branch of CBI should be merged into Lokpal. CBI cannot be controlled administratively by Lokpal.
  19. 19. Topic Janlokpal Bill Governments Draft 3]Lokayuktas The same bill should provide for Lokpal at centre and Lokayuktas in states. Only Lokpal at the centre would be created through this Bill. 4]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.
  20. 20. Topic Janlokpal bill Governments Draft 5]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. 6]Whistleblower Protection Lokpal will be required to provide protection to whistleblowers, witnesses and victims of corruption. No mention in this draft.
  21. 21. Topic Janlokpal Bill Governments Draft 7]Method of Inquiry 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.
  22. 22. Topic Janlokpal Bill Governments Draft 8] 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. 9] Special benches in HC High Courts will set up special benches to hear appeals in corruption cases to fast track them No such provision.
  23. 23. Topic Janlokpal Bill Governments Draft 10]Jurisdiction Offences by a public servant, including government employees, judges, MPs, Ministers, and the Prime Minister under the Indian Penal Code and the 1988 Corruption Act. Any offence committed by an MP in respect of a speech or vote in the House; willfully giving or taking benefit from a person. Victimizing a whistleblower or witness. All corruption cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It covers MPs, Ministers, ‘Group A’ officers, ‘Group A’ officers in a company or body owned by the government, any officer of a government-financed society or trust or funded by Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 or that gets funds from the public. Excludes PM, judiciary and any action of an MP in the Parliament or Committee.
  24. 24. Topic Janlokpal Bill Goverments Draft 11]Other Powers The Lokpal can receive complaints from whistle-blowers, issue search warrants, attach property, recommend cancellation/modification of a lease or license or blacklist a company. If recommendation of Lokpal is not accepted it can approach the High Court. A bench of the Lokpal can approve interception and monitoring of messages transmitted through telephone or internet. The Lokpal can search and seize documents, attach property for 90 days, file for confirming the attachment within 30 days, and recommend suspension of the accused. Source: http://news.indiaagainstcorruption.org/?p=3022&utm_source=rss&utm_ medium=rss&utm_campaign=govt-lokpal-bill-vs-jan-lokpal-bill
  25. 25. CAN LOKPAL REALLY ROOT OUT THE PROBLEM OF CORRUPTION?  The answer is NO.  Framing a law like Lokpal can help in checking corruption but it will not be able to root out the problem corruption completely.  To root out the problem of corruption in a decisive manner a strong initiative at he level of society has to be taken.  Change needs to start from the roots, not from the tip. This is the present issue now. Leaders used to ask us not to encourage corruption, but it is not at all possible in this country, because things won’t move if we won’t fill up the pockets. People prefer things to be done quickly in this fast world, no one is going to stand up against the one who asked for a bribe, because simple, we don’t like to wait. Everyone wants their work to go on in any way. Corruption is not something only in politics, it is wide, and it has its presence everywhere, in every nook and corner of this country.
  26. 26. CONCLUSION:  I think that a strong and effective Lokpal Bill will certainly help in reducing corruption but will not root it out completely.  But Lokpal is not a magical wand that if it is passed in the parliament it will eradicate corruption. But that simple bill is no longer enough to free our nation from corruption. The thoughts of each and every citizen are needed. Change should come in the citizens of our country, not in the constitution. The change in the law just paves a way for judicial restrictions; it is no more going to do anything beyond that.
  27. 27. REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lokpal_Bill,_2011 2. www.thehindu.org.in 3. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ 4. www.prsindia.org/.../Lokpal/Comparison%20betw 5. www.transparency.org 6. www.forbesindia.org 7. www.wikipedia.org 8. http://news.oneindia.in/2011/12/22/some-key-features-of-lokpal- and-lokayuktas-bill-2011.html 9.http://news.indiaagainstcorruption.org/?p=3022&utm_source=rss& utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=govt-lokpal-bill-vs-jan-lokpal-bill
  28. 28. Thank you….

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