By: Akshay Chooramani
Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill: Legislate the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill: Promise no.1 as per the manifesto of AAP states: “Aam Aadmi Party resolves to legislate the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill after coming to power. This will ensure a time-bound investigation in matters of corruption. The Delhi Lokpal will have the power to initiate investigations and prosecution against those charged with corruption”.
The bill seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body to investigate the corruption charges in time-bound manner was passed on December 4, 2015 by Delhi Assembly. The bill has all the provisions promised in the manifesto. The bill empowers Jan Lokpal to investigate any complaints in Delhi against any public servant, including the Chief Minister. (Section 10 (5)). The Jan Lokpal can act on its own on receiving any complaint(s) from any individual and provides legal protection to the complainant and witnesses from any kind of harassment. (Section 10 (2)). The bill makes provision for time-bound completion of investigation and trial so that justice isn’t denied or delayed. (Section 18 (2)). The Bill provides legal protection to those exposing government corruption (whistleblowers) and witnesses. (Section 26)
The bill, however, could not become a law even after 4 years, since it was passed by the Delhi Assembly as it was not cleared by the President and was returned back to the Delhi Assembly along with the 13 other bills. Currently the status of the bill as shown in the website of Delhi Assembly reflects ‘ Not Assented’ in the remarks column.