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Delhi government clears Jan Lokpal Bill

JAN LOKPAL BILL

The Delhi government cleared the much-awaited Jan Lokpal Bill and it is likely to be tabled in the Assembly next week. The Bill brings the Chief Minister’s office under its purview and ensures that any investigation and trial by the Lokpal has to be completed within six months. Even as the Winter session of the Assembly opened at the Old Secretariat, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with his Cabinet ministers cleared the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Addressing a gathering, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that Cabinet meeting, specially called for clearing the Jan Lokpal Bill, was held at the Cabinet meeting room in the Old Secretariat ‘to make the moment special’. The draft Bill envisages a system where a corrupt person found guilty would go to jail within two years of the complaint being filed and his ill-gotten wealth confiscated. It also envisages power to the Jan Lokpal to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without government permission. The Bill also envisages CAG audit in the cases.

The Jan Lokpal Bill (Ombudsman Bill) is an anti-corruption Bill drawn up by activists seeking the appointment of an independent body that would investigate corruption cases, complete the investigation and trial in a time-bound manner. Once passed and notified, people will be able to complain directly and imprison corrupt politicians and bureaucrats under the law. The Bill is on the lines of the Lokpal Bill of Uttarakhand, which was drafted by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia in 2011.

However, this is the second time that the AAP-government has cleared the Bill. In February 2014, the government cleared the Bill but didn’t send it to the Lieutenant- Governor. L-G Najeeb Jung, had raised objection regarding this to the Union Home Ministry.