[Notes] Silent Features of Passed Lokpal Bill

10 points of the Lokpal Bill which make it stronger

* Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any central investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by the ombudsman.

* A high-powered committee chaired by the PM will recommend selection of CBI director. The collegium will comprise PM, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and Chief Justice of India PM has been brought under purview of the Lokpal, so also central ministers and senior officials.

* Directorate of prosecution will be under overall control of CBI director. At present, it comes under law ministry.

* Appointment of director of prosecution to be based on recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.

* Director of prosecution will also have a fixed tenure of two years like CBI chief.

* Transfer of CBI officers investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of watchdog.

* Bill incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.

* Bill lays down clear timelines for preliminary enquiry and investigation and trial. Provides for special courts Public servants will not present their view before preliminary enquiry if the case requires 'element of surprise' like raids and searches.

* Bill grants powers to Lokpal to sanction prosecution against public servants.

* CBI may appoint a panel of advocates with approval of Lokpal, CBI will not have to depend on govt advocates.

Important features

Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50% will be judicial members 50% members of Lokpal shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women Selection of chairperson and members of Lokpal through a selection committee consisting of PM, Speaker of Lok Sabha, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI Eminent jurist to be nominated by President of India on basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee "through consensus" Lokpal's jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants All entities (NGOs) receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs 10 lakh per year are under the jurisdiction of Lokpal Centre will send Lokpal bill to states as a model bill, states have to set up Lokayuktas through a state law within 365 days

Points of discord on Lokpal

Aam Aadmi Party and NCPRI have said the Lokpal bill passed by Parliament is a "sarkari jokepal'' that does not adhere to the resolution which Parliament passed in August 2011 besides raising other concerns.

Lokpal's appointment

Govt | Lokpal will be selected by 5 members (PM, leader of opposition in LS, Speaker, CJI and one jurist nominated by these four) AAP | Majority of those who will select Lokpal will be from the political class who will have a vested interest in a weak Lokpal. Jan Lokpal had recommended a 7-member committee including 2 SC judges, 2 HC judges, one nominee of CAG+CVC+CEC, PM and LoP.

Lokpal's removal

Govt | Only govt or 100 MPs can complain to SC. AAP | Will keep removal under political control. Jan Lokpal said any citizen can complain and seek any Lokpal member's removal.

Investigating machinery

Govt | Lokpal would have to get complaints probed by any investigating agency, including the CBI, all of which would continue to remain under the administrative control of govt. AAP & NCPRI | CBI officers' transfers, postings will be under govt control compromising independence of the investigative machinery. CBI should be under the Lokpal's administrative control.

Ambit of the Lokpal

Govt | Judiciary excluded and MPs' actions in respect of speeches and vote in Parliament excluded. AAP & NCPRI | Include all public servants including judges and MPs in discharging public duties.

Whistleblower's protection

Govt | Absent from govt law. AAP & NCPRI | Protection for whistleblowers must be addressed in this law or a separate one.

Citizen's charter

Govt | Absent from govt law. AAP & NCPRI | This was part of the resolution passed by Parliament in August 2011 and must be adhered to.


Govt | Have been left to the discretion of state govts. AAP & NCPRI | Bill should have been a model legislation for states to adopt mandatorily.

Frivolous complaints

Govt | Any person making a false complaint can be jailed for up to 5 years. AAP | Penalty for frivolous complaint is up to Rs 1 lakh; no imprisonment.

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