The lower house of Indian parliament Lok Sabha cleared the anti-corruption law enshrined under Lokpal Bill on Wednesday, one day after the upper house Rajya Sabha passed the much debated bill. This comes around two years of a mass public protest in support of a call for strong anti-corruption law in the by Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare. The social activist broke fast in after Lok Sabha cleared the law.
Hazare had resumed his hunger strike early this month to press on the government to clear the bill which seeks to bring all public servants under its ambit including the head of the executive the prime minister.
The movement started by Hazare saw a split sometime back with a faction led by former bureaucrat Arvind Kejriwal moving on to form a political organisation under the aegis of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). AAP contested in its maiden elections in the recently concluded ballot in Delhi and emerged as a surprise no: 2 party in the state just short of the majority mark.
Interestingly, while Hazare had supported with the final proposals included in the Lokpal Bill, AAP had said it is a diluted form of what it had asked for through a Jan Lokpal Bill. Some key differences between the two include: exclusion of judiciary from its ambit, absence of a whistleblower protection policy, citizen charter for prosecuting officials who fail to do their duty, appointment and removal of Lokpal members. Here’s a snapshot from the Lokpal Bill which has now been passed:
- Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of the states.
A mandate for setting up of the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)