Thursday, August 18, 2011

Support Jan LokPal Bill (Know the Difference)







The following table details differences between the Jan Lokpal Bill being offered by the Government and the one offered by Anna Hazare's team
IssueThe Jan Lokpal Bill Government's Lokpal Bill 
Prime MinisterCan be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.PM cannot be investigate by Lokpal.
JudiciaryCan be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench.Judiciary is exempt and will be covered by a separate "judicial accountability bill".
MPsCan be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.
Lower bureaucracyAll public servants would be included.Only Group A officers will be covered.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)The CBI will be merged into the Lokpal.The CBI will remain a separate agency.
Removal of Lokpal members and ChairAny person can bring a complaint to the Supreme Court, who can then recommend removal of any member to the President.Any "aggrieved party" can raise a complaint to the President, who will refer the matter to the CJI.
Removal of Lokpal staff and officersComplaints against Lokpal staff will be handled by independent boards set-up in each state, composed of retired bureaucrats, judges, and civil society members.Lokpal will conduct inquiries into its own behavior.
LokayuktaLokakyukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place.All state anti-corruption agencies would be closed and responsibilities taken over by centralized Lokpal.
Whistleblower protectionWhistleblowers are protected law.No protection granted to whistleblowers.
Punishment for corruptionLokpal can either directly impose penalties, or refer the matter to the courts. Penalties can include removal from office, imprisonment, and recovery of assets from those who benefited from the corruption.Lokpal can only refer matters to the courts, not take any direct punitive actions. Penalties remain equivalent to those in current law.
Investigatory powersLokpal can obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, and recruit investigating officers. Cannot issue contempt orders.Lokpal can issue contempt orders, and has the ability to punish those in contempt. No authority to obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, or recruit investigating officers.
False, frivolous and vexatious complaintsLokpal can issue fines for frivolous complaints (including frivolous complaints against Lokpal itself), with a maximum penalty of 1 lakh.Court system will handle matters of frivolous complaints. Courts can issue fines of Rs25,000 to 2 lakh.
ScopeAll corruption can be investigated.Only high-level corruption can be investigated.

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