Differences between Jan Lokpal and Government’s Lokpal Bill – A Comparison

Below is a quick summary of the major differences between the drafts of Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare, and the government’s version of the Lokpal Bill. The summary will also make one quickly realize that

  • The Government’s Lokpal version gives less power to Lokpal, but at the same time gives it more immunity from any action against the institution itself.
  • The Jan Lokpal version gives more power to Lokpal but less immunity if its own actions are found unaccountable.

Corruption and Jan Lokpal Bill - Sand Sculpture by Tarani Masro from Andhra

Accountability of the Lokpal

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Any Citizen can go and complaint to Supreme Court to remove a Lokpal if the Lokpal is not found to be accountable in his/her actions.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Only Government has the power to remove a Lokpal.

So according to government’s draft, if government appoints a corrupt person as the Lokpal, then people have no way of seeking the removal of such a Lokpal. But in case of Jan Lokpal, I or you can go to the court and demand that the Lokpal be removed if we are able to provide justification for that removal.

Corruption allegations against Lokpal Members

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Complaints of corruption against Lokpal members will be heard by an independent authority.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal itself will hear complaints of corruption against its members!

Which is more accountable? Lokpal hearing complaints against its own members? Or an independent authority acting on these complaints?

Probe corruption allegations against MPs in Parliament

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will have the power to probe into allegations of corruption by Members in Parliament like MPs taking bribe to vote! (Remember the Cash for Votes Scandal? )
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal will not have any right to probe into allegations of corruption by MPs in the Parliament!

Complaints against Government Officers, Public Servants

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal can act on complaints against ANY government officer.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal can act on complaints against only “Group A”  level government officers.

There are around 80 lakh state government officials and 40 lakh central government officials in the country. Of which only 65000 are Group A level officers. So according to government’s draft Lokpal or no Lokpal it makes no difference to over 99.995% of the government officers! The fact is that it is these officers below Group A level who actually cause problems to the common man. If common man cannot complain to Lokpal about problems like corruption in the Public Distribution System, corruption in his local RTO, corruption in rural employment scemes etc, then what is the use of such a Lokpal?

Action against government officers

  • Jan Lokpal:
    If a government officer delays the work of a citizen beyond scheduled time frame then he will be deemed corrupt by Lokpal and penalized for that.
  • Government Lokpal:
    There is no penalization of government officers who do not do their duties.

NOTE: The Government had earlier agreed to the proposal in Jan Lokpal on this issue. But this again is missing from the government’s Lokpal draft!

Corruption allegation against Judiciary

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will have the authority to investigate allegations of corruption against judges.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal will NOT have the authority to investigate allegations of corruption against judges.

NOTE: Government wants judiciary to be investigated based on a separate Judicial Accountability Bill (JAB). Anna’s team is fine with that provided the the flaws in giving permission for investigations against judges are removed. In the JAB, permission to investigate allegations against a judge will be given by a three member judge team, two of whom will be judges from the same court, and even the third judge will be a retired chief justice of the same court!

Corruption allegations against Prime Minister

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will have the authority to investigate allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal will NOT have the authority to investigate allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister.

NOTE: Government wants CBI to investigate any allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister. But the fact is that the CBI comes directly under the Prime Minister. So, unlike Lokpal, CBI is not an independent organization in this scenario.

Anti Corruption Branch of CBI

  • Jan Lokpal:
    The Anti Corruption Branch of CBI will be merged with Lokpal to give it more independence.
  • Government Lokpal:
    The Anti Corruption Branch of CBI will continue to remain with CBI, which means direct government control over it, because CBI is controlled by government.

NOTE: Government has now even removed CBI from RTI! So nobody knows what is going on within CBI.

Dismissal of Corrupt Public Servant

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will have the power to dismiss a corrupt public servant from job.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal will have no power to dismiss a corrupt public servant. The concerned minister will decide whether to dismiss a corrupt public servant or not.

NOTE: What if the minister is also a beneficiary of this corruption? Will he in such a case dismiss the corrupt public servant?

Protection against false complaints

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will impose fine to those who make false complaints or ill motivated complaints. Lokpal will decide whether a complaint is false or not.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal will send those who make false complaints to jail for a period of two to five years! The accused can also go to court against the complainant, and in this case, the legal expenses of the accused will be borne by the government, where as the complainant has to pay for the legal expenses from his own pocket.

This one clause in the government’s draft is enough to ensure that nobody will dare to go and complain to Lokpal. If the corrupt who are also generally rich, are able to mute all evidences against them, then the person who complained will have to go to jail, do trips to courts, bear his legal expenses and what not.

NOTE: While the minimum imprisonment for a false complaint is two years in the government’s draft, the minimum imprisonment for those found guilty of corruption is only 6 months! The government’s draft clearly targets the complainant than the accused.

Selection of the Lokpal Members

  • Jan Lokpal:
    An independent search committee which consists of retired constitutional authorities (like judges, eminent IAS officers etc) will prepare the first list of eligible candidates. Then an independent selection committee comprising of two politicians, four judges and two retired constitutional authorities will do the selection. So there is no scope for government interference in the selection process of Lokpal members here.
  • Government Lokpal:
    A Panel of 10 members, 6 of whom are politicians, 5 of whom are from the ruling alliance/ruling party will select the Lokpal members. Even the search committee which searches for eligible lokpal members will be selected by the above mentioned selection committee. 5 members from ruling alliance and totally 6 politicians in a group of 10 will ensure that government will be able to appoint its own people to Lokpal!

NOTE: The Government had earlier agreed to the selection committee proposed by Jan Lokpal. But this proposal is not there in the government’s draft now! Instead we have what is described above in Government’s version.

Permission to Tap Phones of those alleged of Corruption

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will give permission to tap phones of people suspected to be involved in corruption.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Home Secretary will give permission to tap phones of people suspected to be involved in corruption!

What if the permission sought is against those who control the Home Secretariat? Is it fair to expect that the Home Secretary will give permission in such cases? What if Home Secretary himself is under the Lokpal scanner?

Corruption by Business Entities

  • Jan Lokpal:
    If Lokpal finds that business entities are involved in corruption, then Lokpal will have the right to ban such companies from taking part in future government contracts and to black list them.
  • Government Lokpal:
    No power to Lokpal to black list any business entity found guilty of corruption.

Fast Track Hearing of Corruption Cases

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal can setup special benches in High Courts to speed up hearing of corruption cases.
  • Government Lokpal:
    Lokpal has no power to setup special benches like this. Which means slow hearing of corruption cases.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Protection to complainants, whistle blowers

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Lokpal will provide adequate protection and security to complainants and whistle blowers.
  • Government Lokpal:
    No mention about any protection to those who complaint about cases of corruption.

Establishment of Lokayuktas

  • Jan Lokpal:
    There will also be Lokayuktas established at each state level with powers similar to Lokpal. These Lokayuktas will probe into corruption at a state government level against ministers, MLAs and state government officials.
  • Government Lokpal:
    No establishment of any Lokayuktas through Lokpal Bill.
If people have any issue of corruption at a state government level, then according to the Government’s Lokpal bill – forget it.

Method of Enquiry

  • Jan Lokpal:
    Enquiry will be done just like in any other criminal case.  After preliminary enquiry FIR will be registered, and after that investigations will be done, and then the trial will be held in the courts.
  • Government Lokpal:
    After preliminary enquiry, before filing FIR all evidence collected so far should be presented to the accused, and he should be asked why an FIR should not be filed against him based on that evidence!  After investigations, before filing a case against the accused, again all evidences collected so far should be presented to the accused, and he should be asked again as to why a case should not be filed against him!

Now what on earth is this business of showing the evidence to the accused and asking him? Evidences are shown to the courts not to the accused. Does the government want to give an opportunity to the accused to wipe out all evidences? This would also reveal to the accused as to who complained against him, endangering the lives of the complainants and whistle blowers.

Conclusion

In summary, looking at the government’s version of the Lokpal bill, doesn’t it look like that the government wants to simply pass a bill for the namesake of it and wash its hands off from the entire issue? After 45 years of waiting, the government simply wants to create an illusion that it has passed an anti-corruption law. Do we really need another dummy institution at the tax payer’s expense?

Just look at the government’s draft once again and you will wonder, who actually comes UNDER the jurisdiction of Lokpal according to the government’s lokpal draft. No Prime Minister, no MPs, no judiciary, no state level Lokayuktas, no government officers other than “Group A” officers….

Arving Kejriwal has rightly called the government’s draft – A Jokepal Bill. It not only has loopholes in it, it is full of potholes. Now you decide whether we want the government’s version of Lokpal or the Team Anna’s Jan Lokpal to become a law in this country.

Updated (on 22 August 2011) 

Rajinder Sachar, former chief justice of the Delhi high court has said that the Lokpal Bill proposed by the Government of India is

shamefully toothless and meant just to give a false reassurance to the people that the government is serious in its fight against corruption.

References:

  • Jeevan

    plz redy to strugle for BHART RATTAN for army ,air force,and others, our army ,air force also rattan of my india,they fight,they lost his life for countery,

    • Anonymous

      Very true Jeevan – soldiers who give their lives to protect the country do not get the honors they truly deserve. We as a society should be much more grateful to the soldiers who are sacrificing their today to secure our tomorrows.

  • Manojrambo

     rp anna plz back in movement,gov not justify with strong lokpal,million of pepole redy to attack on cruption,

  • Raviteja

    Jai ANNA TEAM..!!!

  • Rudramani Sharma

    The Congress led government says they are for the welfare of people but uses lathi to overcome peaceful protestants(June 4) also tells Anna is corrupted from top to bottom(Manish Tiwary). I don’t understand what the UPA want to prove. I do think that this government is tired so it is seeking for  urgent holiday for some 2 terms so that it will get reminder notice of 1975  and if understood comes back and will govern with conscious mind.

    • Anonymous

      It is the arrogance of this government responding to criticism with force that is causing all the issues. Any government which starts behaving arrogantly with its own people has little change of making it back to power next time, especially given that there are other factors which compound the equation like inflation, scams, etc

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7EFJ7UZJ2PZNX6353JM3JZGXEM KaranShah1990

    If everyone of us start to abide by the law and respect the constitution no one will have to give bribes to hide there misdoings..lets kill the RAVAN inside us and help ANNA kill the RAVAN outside..Jai Hind

  • Suchin Kerlapur

    Everyone of us are corrupt. Its not just the government. There’s a huge social change that is required in India within the hearts of us Indians. Even while someone is supporting Anna’s cause, he would have been getting his work done by departments, by paying bribe to his selfish dealings. This is the state of our mind. We are corrupt to the core.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000127734064 Hemant Rafael

    ” Loss caused to the government will be recovered from all accused ” this is the main feature for getting back the black money. I want to see India as a developed country in my life time, hope this happen.

    • Anonymous

      Hope the wish comes true very soon with we establishing a true democracy in the country and being to able to bring only clean service minded politicians to power.

    • Anonymous

      Hope the wish comes true very soon with we establishing a true democracy in the country and being to able to bring only clean service minded politicians to power.

  • Citizen of India

    I really don understand the point why Government is not agreeing for this bill which is from people.Government means “Public servants” so public is the master of Government.. Government should do what public wants.. They cant rule us.. Our Constitution starts with “we the people give ourselves this law” and we have all rights to change it… I’m feelin no difference between british rule and present rule.. 

    • Anonymous

      They are afraid because the moment we have an institution addressing corruption, the corrupt politicians wont have much option to loot the country, people will get power to question everything the politicians are doing. Focus will then be on governance which most governments have very little to offer about.

    • Anonymous

      They are afraid because the moment we have an institution addressing corruption, the corrupt politicians wont have much option to loot the country, people will get power to question everything the politicians are doing. Focus will then be on governance which most governments have very little to offer about.

  • Murali

    Corruption is not only there in Government agencies.  Corruption is there in almost everyone.  Milk vendors for example adultrate milk.  Food materials and medicines are all adultrated.  Vegetable vendors colour and inject dangerous things in them.  Artificial ghee and milk are produced and sold and many people who are doing this are participating in the andolan led by respected Shri Anna Hajare ji.  Anna Ji is a great soul.  I want him to not take support of those people who are corrupt, whether they are in Government Service or doing their own business or work.  I am sure not even 10% of the people who are there in Ram Leela grounds are not corrupt.

    • Anonymous

      True Murali, but two wrongs dont make one right. Each of the issues you mentioned should be taken care of. Let us not mix things here. Else it will become an endless loop. Because if you ask those adultering food, milkman mixing water in milk, etc – they say that when people in power are looting crores and are not being punished why only target them? So this argument wont do.

      This movement is about ensuring accountability in public life. If that is ensured a lot if not all of the corruption issues will get resolved. The small time thieves you mentioned are all getting away because the people in power are taking bribes and letting them off when caught. If they realize that after lokpal it will cost their job to take bribe, a lot (again if not all) of these things will fall in place themselves.

      After all democracy is about the level of people’s participation. The more the participation the greater will be its success. The fact is power corrupts. And the answer is to ensure that corrupt lose their power :)

      • Riley123

        This is very correctly said. We people are corrupt and if we remember our lives till date we would surely get instances in which directly or indirectly we have been involved with corruption. However, we have always had this space that we created. I may support any political group but when I look at what’s going on around I feel that The Jan Lok Pal Bill shouldn’t make the government defensive, rather they should come out with open arms and all politicians from every corner of the country join hands to pass this bill. But since this directly ensures that tomorrow this would make their lives difficult they are backing out of it putting very diplomatic reasons on the table. I fail to understand that if we all are so clean then let’s implement Jan Lok Pal immediately. If any Indian Citizen is proved to be guilty then he/she should be sent to jail…and politicians should accept this..but they won’t ..Why?? Because if this is the fact then tomorrow almost all of these bloody politicians would be standing behind bars…

    • tanu

      can’t we have a threshold type of thing where we look the other way if its upto certain level and fix the radar to a higher level where we go after anyone beyond that point. Like going on a HWY of 65 mph speed limit  at say 75 mph. Cops let us go, don’t they ? Lets give out tickets to the ones going over 80mph ? just saying…

  • Vicky Sharma

    I am not able to understand why Government is not accepting the bill, PM Manmohan say that we don’t have magic stick but he and his team is not understand that Congress Government only give anchorage to Corruption from 1946 and why they not try to stop Corruption? They are ruling around 50+ years on Indian… 

    • Anonymous

      True. Only magicians require magic wands to fool people. Statesmen think of practical permanent solutions to solve issues facing the society.

    • tanu

      I can imagine why they don’t want to accept the bill. They are too scared to go to jail and part from their kursi and also they hate to answer to anyone. Right now it’s their monopoly and they dont wana lose it by giving so much power to lokpal.

      • Anonymous

        The only way we can make India a more vibrant and true democracy is by enacting a law which allows people to recall their elected representatives any time, if the people feel that their MP or MLA or Corporator is not representing them anymore. Other democracies have this law, we call ourselves largest democracy, but we are actually a once in a five year democracy followed by five years of dictatorship.

  • Tauheed Alam

    I am agree for Jan lokpal. This is helpful for anti corruption.
    Tauheed

    • Anonymous

      But unfortunately government is not.

  • Vijay Nair

    The first emotion that comes across after reading the Government Lokpal bill is one of disbelief. Can this government be so arrogant to think that people will put up with such blatant mischief of tabling a lame duck bill. That is until we pause and realize that, it is the politicians and people in government who stand to loose decades of habitual misrule which they have become accustomed to. No corrupt man or organization wants a give up the comforts of a system that has enriched them. Every nation and society needs a social churning and upheaval every half century to breathe new life into it, and avoid becoming a decadent society. Anna’s cause is a just cause which every right thinking citizen must support.
    Vijay Nair

  • Binodkari

    I totally agree that there is extreme necessary to make the jan lokpal bill enter the parliament and get passed. I am shocked to know the intention of the government is just to make the people fool of the lokpal bill. I totally support the Civil society framed Jan Lokpal Bill. But utmost care should be taken that this bill is also not misued by the complainer as that had mostly happened in the RTI.

    • Anonymous

      Very true, care should be taken to ensure that the complainer is both protected as well as not allowed to misuse. However, it is just a complain, complain itself doesnt mean legal action and prosecution – there is nothing for an officer or minister to be afraid of if he has done no wrong. Infact the increased killings of RTI activists is a worrying sign.

      The real debate as you rightly said should have been about how to ensure such crucial issues in the bill. But the government’s arrogance and unwillingness to debate has made the issue into a strong lokpal vs weak lokpal one – which was totally unnecessary.

  • Sowmyasrishailan

    i strongly support anna hazareji but if the jan lokpalbill is issued what are the duties of a normal citizens

    • Anonymous

      If Janlokpal bill is passed then any common citizen of India can go to lokpal if his work is not being done by ANY government officer – be it at RTO, PDS, Police Station, Pension Office, PF Office, etc. If the officer in duty is unnecessarily delaying the work then he will be penalized. If it is found that the officer in duty has demanded bribe or has received bribe, then he will be DISMISSED (not merely suspended) from his job.

    • Juhi

      beta jan lok pal se kuch nahi hoga aana only sarkar ko black mail kar raha hai

  • Ramindia

    THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO BRING IN THE LOKPAL BILL TO SAFE GUARD ITS OWN CORRUPT MINISTERS OF THE UPA.
    THE JAN LOKPAL BILL WILL WEED OUT ALL THE CORRUPT POLITICIANS AND THAT IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR.

    MANY KEEP SAYING TO BRING IN THE LOKPAL WILL TAKE ITS OWN TIME AND ANNA IS THREATNING OR BLACKMAILING THE
    GOVT. THE PM ALSO HAS SAID THIS. HAS 42 YEARS NOT BEEN ENOUGH TIME FOR THESE CORRUPT BANDICOUTS OF THE
    COUNTRY
     

    • Anonymous

      In the past parliament has passed 17 bills in 10 MINUTES, including the MPs salary bill :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesunilsrivastava Sunil Srivastava

    I am not able to understand why Government is not accepting the bill, when its for every one and any one.
    Only Congress says No to it, Why??

    • Anonymous

      There is simply too much at stake both in terms of power and money. Till now none of the politicians have been answerable for their actions immediately. Janlokpal will make them answerable for every action related to misuse of power related to corruption.

    • Email_anandsingh

      We can’t oppose the congress only, most of the politicle party are currupted and can say that most of the leaders. Some of the politicle parties are trying to bake their bread. But there are very few politician, who are in the support with this Jan Lokpal Bill.
      So guys we need to change the thoughts and try to make our country curruption free (but it’s not like a one day process). So we must oppose the currupotion not the government.

      • Anonymous

        True, the fight is not against any single political party – it is against the whole system. Government could have been a part of this fight, but by choosing a confrontational attitude it has become against the fight.

  • Mukeshrajpurohit

    i support jan lok pal bill………not that joke pal

    • Anonymous

      We need to take a pledge that if our local MP does not support strong lokpal then we will not vote for him in the next elections, and if a particular part does not support strong lokpal then we will not vote for that party in the next elections.

  • Rajgopal

    Corruption from all levels must be removed,we agree that there is no majic with anubody for this but there must be a begining and that is want aam janata is wishing and supporting anna’s leadership.The Jan Lokpal Bill may or may not be the perfect one but what we want is the willingness from govt to debate and make it a strong law.If not now,it will be never and janta has been taken for granted by all politicians for decades.Good Luck to this movement!

    • Anonymous

      Yes janlokpal will not solve all problems related to corruption. But it will definitely solve a lot of it and most importantly give the power in people’s hand as far as corruption is concerned and make people in power more accountable for their actions.

  • Pankaj

    The governments lokpal bill is a complete eyewash.So rightly said by Shri Kejriwal as Jokepal bill.Hope truth prevails and Anna’s version of lokpal bill is passed at the earliest.My full support is for Anna’s Jan lokpal bill. JAI HIND.

    • Anonymous

      Government has made the bill as weak as possible so that no matter how many amendments you make to it, unless and until you alter its very basic structure, it wont be a strong lokpal bill. Team Anna has made a very strong lokpal bill that, unless and until you alter its very basic structure, it won’t be a weak lokpal bill.

  • Sudhakarrao_vc

    I’m sorry to say that we are dreaming of an instant Ideal democracy, where  we don’t see,hear corruption.  When we opted for Democratic Republic it has its limitations, as every one is free to think and act some times even against the Nation-remember recent Mumbai blasts where, native Indians had a role.  Secondly, after Independence people forgot about the values of freedom, and how to protect it. We forgot Great Bapu and his vision of free India.
    Our Politicians and Babus simply follow  British Regime,their methods of fleecing public , oppressing human rights of every common man.

     Thirdly, we need to understand that the Democratic values envisaged in the Indian Constitution are undermined by our own Political Leaders, systematically, for the Past 63 years, and corruption  is universalised, so that every one with Political or Money power can do any wrong and can getaway. 

     We must  be prepared  for a long-drawn battle, a war for Freedom from  Corruption.

    • Anonymous

      Very true, a strong Lokpal will be only the first step. But we need to make sure that we dont fail at the very first step. Unless the entire nation fights for it in one voice, the establishment won’t given in to the people’s demands easily.

  • Subhashkalpna

    We agree with jan lokpal. but it is necessary to amend the Constitution of India to amend the law who is practical not in theoretical. Many laws are not practical for human life. it is theoretical base . we have to done any work for human life not for law. law is for humane .not humane for law.  

    • Dibyendu_majumder

      what did you mean by that !!!!

      • Ssss_2722

        what the @£$$%$%% is he/she talking about?