Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Delhi Giovernment clears Jan Lokpal Bill

The Delhi cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal cleared  much talked-about Jan Lokpal bill which provides for covering all public servants - from chief minister to Group D employees -- and seeks life term as maximum punishment for those found guilty of corruption.

bill provides for a legal right of protection to honest officials, whistleblowers and witnesses besides having provisions for time-bound investigation and trial of corruption cases.

Jan Lokpal is the key promise made to the voters by AAP

there is  no provision for any "special privileges" for even the chief minister and council of ministers has been proposed in the bill

He said government will not send the bill to the Home Ministry for approval.

Sources said the Law Department had mentioned in its noting that there as per existing norms, Delhi government has to get clearance from the Home Ministry before tabling any bill.

"The only law which comes closest to this bill is the bill passed by the Uttarakhand assembly in 2011, but it too had some limitations in filing complaints against the CM and ministers. This bill for the first time provides a legal right of protection for the whistleblowers and witnesses in corruption cases.

Asked whether the bill will at least be sent to the Lt Governor for clearance, Sisodia only said it will be tabled in the House.

When asked whether Delhi Police, DDA and NDMC will come under ambit of Jan Lokpal, he refused to reply.

But officials said as these three bodies come under the purview of Delhi government's Anti-Corruption Bureau, they will automatically come under the ambit of the proposed legislation when the ACB is merged with the Lokpal.

This provision may be opposed by the Centre as all the three agencies report directly to the Home Ministry.

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