Delhi Government approved Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015

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Who: Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015
What: Approved by Delhi Cabinet
When: 18 November 2015

The Delhi Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 18 November 2015 approved the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015.

The Bill envisages the establishment of an independent authority to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It also covers the Chief Minister’s Office.

The bill drafted by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia largely resembles the provisions contained in Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, 2011.

Main Highlights of the Bill

  • It prescribes time-bound investigation of offences within six months and states that as far as possible the trial in such cases should be completed in six months.
  • It also allows authorities to provisionally attach assets acquired by corrupt means.
  • It provides that punishment for any act of corruption cannot be less than six months and a maximum of 10 years.
  • In rarest or rare cases, the corrupt public servant can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • It seeks to bring Delhi Police, Delhi Development Authority and municipal bodies under its ambit.
  • It provides for special awards for honest officers among other incentives
  • The Lokpal can have the power to initiate investigation on its own or on a complaint from an individual.
  • The Lokpal would comprise a chairperson and 10 members. The chairperson and members will be selected by a panel.
  • The Bill will now be presented to 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly and once passed by the assembly will be sent to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for his approval.

Background

The Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 is the newer version of Janlokpal Bill, 2014, that had led CM Arvind Kejriwal to resign in February 2014 after being at the helm of Delhi Government for 49 days.  He had resigned after the version 2014 was unable to get through the legislative assembly.