Bill

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ECPSC- 2013

CURRENT AFFAIRS HANDOUT NO 13

LOKPAL BILL

1. Background.

(a) The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) while recommending the constitution of Lokpal was convinced that such an institution was justified not only for removing the sense of injustice from the minds of adversely affected citizens but also necessary to instill public confidence in the efficiency of the administrative machinery. Following this, the Lokpal Bill was for the first time presented during the fourth Lok Sabha in 1968, and was passed there in 1969. However, while it was pending in the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha was dissolved, and so the bill was not passed at that time.

(b) The bill was revived in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2008 most recently in 2011. Each time, after the bill was introduced to the house, it was referred to some committee for improvements a joint committee of parliament, or a departmental standing committee of the Home Ministry, and before the government could take a final stand on the issue, the house was dissolved. Several flaws have been cited in the recent draft of the Lokpal Bill. Meanwhile the activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) have prepared a draft for the bill called Jan Lokpal Bill.

2. Composition of Lokpal. The Lokpal will be a three member body with a chairperson who is or was a chief justice or Supreme Court judge, and two members who are or have been high courts judges or chief justices. The basic framework of the Lokpal is borrowed from the office of the ombudsman in other countries. It provides for filing complaints of corruption against the prime minister, other ministers and members of parliament with the ombudsman. Anyone, except for a public servant can file a complaint and the Lokpal has to complete the inquiry within six months.

3. Significance of the Lokpal Bill.

(a) As corruption…...