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AAP’s Janlokpal Bill set to get a thumbs up in Assembly

AAP’s Janlokpal Bill set to get a thumbs up in Assembly
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But this time, the scenario in the House has completely changed with AAP MLAs occupying 67 of the 70-seat Assembly. 

This time, the Bill that had lead to the AAP government’s ouster in 2014, will get an overwhelming support in the House. The Bill aims to provide ‘corruption-free zone’ in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

As per the draft, the Bill envisions an impartial and independent Janlokpal. After appointment, the chairperson and two members of the Jan Lokpal will not be able to hold any other post in a government or private body. 

“The chairperson and members will have to sever their ties, if they have any with a political party or group, before joining the post,” the Bill mandates. The Bill also bars the chairperson and members  of the Janlokpal from joining the Delhi or the Central government after completing their tenure of five years, except eligible for a second tenure. 

The three-member Janlokpal will be headed by a High Court or Supreme Court judge and members should at least be district judges. “The chairperson of the Janlokpal shall not be an MP or an MLA of a state or Union Territory, shall not hold an office of profit and shall not be connected with a political party or be carrying out a business or practise any profession,” the Bill states.

The Janlokpal is also empowered to probe corruption cases against officers in the jurisdiction of the NCT of Delhi suo motu or receiving complaints from public or from the Delhi government.

“No inquiry shall be instituted on grounds of technical or procedural lapses in acts performed by public servants in good faith during the course of their official duties unless there is malafide,” states the Bill, which aims to provide immunity to honest officers.

The proposed law empowers the Janlokpal to provide protection to whistle-blowers, while making a provision for one-year imprisonment and fine of up to Rs 1 lakh in case of maliciously making a false complaint. The Bill also provides provisions of special courts, which will aspire to complete trials within six months but necessarily within one year.

The Janlokpal is also strong in the sense that it can recommend transfer of accused officers for a certain period to complete the investigation in an impartial manner. 

“Those appointed by the Janlokpal as investigation officers will work in the supervision of the Janlokpal. While investigating an offence, the Janlokpal shall be competent to investigate any other offence under any other law, which forms a part of the same transaction and seek the help of investigative agencies of Centre and state governments,” said the proposed bill. 

Janlokpal Powers
  •   Special courts to complete trial within 6-12 months
  •   Recommend transfer of accused officer
  •   Can give directions to prevent destruction of records and evidences
  •   Punishment from six months to life imprisonment
  •   Harsher punishment for officers holding higher rank
  •   The annual reports of the Janlokpal will be tabled before the Delhi Assembly
  •   Accounts of Janlokpal will be under the jurisdiction of CAG audit
  •   Bar on public servants to join a pvt group for 2 years after retirement or leaving office
  •   As per the legislation, all public servants in Delhi (MCD, DDA and Delhi police) will have to declare their assets by January 31 every year, which will be put on the websites of their departments concerned. Properties not listed will be confiscated by Delhi govt
  •   Janlokpal can attach properties of accuse

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