Explained: AAP’s Delhi Lokpal Bill vs 2014 Bill vs Uttarakhand Bill

Amid controversy over the Bill introduced in the Delhi House, a comparison.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Updated: December 2, 2015 10:55:38 am
arvind kejriwal, aap arvind kejriwal, aap council meeting, aap national council meeting, aap news, kejriwal polls, kejriwal lalu yadav, delhi news, india news, latest news New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Source: PTI)

The Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015, introduced in the Assembly on November 30, has been assailed by lawyer-activists Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan, key figures in the original Janlokpal agitation, as a betrayal of the anti-corruption movement. The Bill has also been slammed by the BJP and Congress. Senior AAP leaders like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, and Transport Minister Gopal Rai, have, however described the Bill as being the “strongest”. Here’s how the 2015 Bill stacks up against two earlier Bills with which it is comparable — the one drawn up by the earlier AAP government in 2014, and the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill.

The Lieutenant Governor

2014 Bill: “Lieutenant Governor” means the L-G, appointed by the President under Article 239, and designated as such under article 239 AA of the Constitution.
2015 Bill: “Lieutenant Governor” means the L-G of the NCT of Delhi appointed by the President under Article 239 of the Constitution, who shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

Definition of a government servant

2014: Those of the GNCTD cadre, placed at the disposal of other state governments or UTs, or Centre, or those from the Centre placed at the disposal of the government of Delhi.
2015: Not provided.

Definition of public servant
2014: Everyone who holds public office, including the Chief Minister, MLAs, and other politicians.
2015: Not part of definitions. Ministers maintain it includes MPs as well.

Uttarakhand Bill: CM, MLAs, everyone who holds public office.

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Selection of Chairperson and members of Lokayukta
2014: Chairperson and six members, can go up to 10. Search Committee consisting of eminent persons with impeccable integrity will seek nominations for Chairperson; put it online. Search Committee will shortlist candidates and give it to the Selection Committee, which will choose the Members and Chairperson to be appointed by the President. If four Members of Selection Committee disagree, candidate will be disqualified.
2015: Chairperson and two Members, appointed on the basis of recommendation by a Selection Committee, which shall have its own procedure for selecting the Members of the Janlokpal. The process of Search Committee recommendations have been done away with.
Uttarakhand: Chairperson and 5 Members, can go up to 7. Search Committee, Selection Committee roles as in 2014 Bill; Chairperson and Members to be appointed by Governor.

Composition of Selection Committee
2014: Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition, two High Court judges, one person from among previous Lokayukta Chairpersons. Two other members chosen from among retired Chief Justices of India or retired judges of the Supreme Court, or retired Chiefs of the Army, Navy, or Air Force. CM will be Selection Committee chief.
2015: CM, Speaker of Assembly, Leader of Opposition, and Chief Justice of the High Court, who will be the Chairperson of the Selection Committee. The Committee’s recommendation shall be binding on the LG, who shall make the appointments within 30 days of receiving the recommendation.
Uttarakhand: Selection Committee consisting of CM, LOp in Assembly, two High Court judges selected by a collegium of all HC judges, one person from previous Chairpersons of Lokayukta. Two other members from among retired CJI or judges of Supreme Court, retired Service Chiefs, etc. CM will be Selection Committee chief.

Who can be Chairperson or Member
2014: Chairperson shall be a retired judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of a High Court; Members should be persons of eminence and integrity with expertise in public administration, finance or investigation. A third of Members should have extensive knowledge of law; half should belong to SC/ST/OBC/Women/Minorities.
2015: Same as 2014; Members and Chairperson can’t be MP, MLA or hold an office of profit; must resign first. An important clause barring such individuals even after suspension of their activities — given their past associations — has been done away with.
Uttarakhand: Same as 2014 Bill.

Powers of Lokayukta
2014: Janlokpal shall not entertain anonymous complaints. Complaints cannot be withdrawn; tough punishment for false complaints. Video recordings will be done and made available to the public against a fee. Will investigate, punish, prosecute through special courts, issue letters rogatory. Will appoint Janlokpal investigation officers, will have reward schemes for public servants. Will have an Investigation and Prosecution wing; can search any building or premises.
2015: Can investigate anyone’s complaint of corruption in GNCTD. Punishment for false complaint is rigorous imprisonment . Matter not subject to inquiry will be one related to which any inquiry is already pending with the Lokpal constituted under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (1 of 2014). Janlokpal shall also constitute a prosecution wing and appoint a Director of Prosecution.
Uttarakhand: Investigate, punish, prosecute through special courts; issue letters rogatory on pending cases; establish Investigation and Prosecution wing; appoint a Director of Prosecution.

Powers of Investigating Officers
2014: Investigation by Group A officers.
2015: Investigating Officer shall have all powers vested in a police officer while investigating offences under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
Uttarakhand: IO will be of the rank of DSP and above

Removal of Lokayukta
2014: By the President on the recommendation of High Court after a proper inquiry on allegation of corruption.
2015: Impeachment by Assembly. Assembly has full powers to remove Lokayukta.
Uttarakhand: Removal by Governor on the recommendation of the Supreme Court

Janlokpal Annual Report
2014: To be presented to LG; if not accepted, reasons to be given to Assembly.
2015: Annual report to government, which will be laid before the Assembly.
Uttarakhand: Annual report to Governor.

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