In role model for Arvind's tough Act, phone taps, whistleblower protection
- Elections 2014 LIVE: Record 79 pc polling in Bengal; Jaswant Singh writes to EC against Raje
- Congress releases CD of Uma Bharti calling Narendra Modi 'Vinash Purush'
- Admiral Dhowan appointed as new Navy chief
- Supreme Court allows CAG to audit private telecom firms
- IPL 7 Live Cricket Score, DD vs RCB: Duminy, Taylor push DD to 145/4
A tough challenge awaits the Aam Aadmi Party if it has to keep Arvind Kejriwal's promise of bringing in a Jan Lokpal bill within 15 days of forming the government in Delhi.
Amending the existing Lokayukta Act would have involved getting the Lt Governor's assent and getting the amendment bill passed in the assembly, where getting the numbers would have been uncertain in itself. The party has, however, made it clear it wants the Act repealed, with the replacement modelled on the Jan Lokpal draft prepared by India Against Corruption rather than on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill passed recently in Parliament.
Repeal is fraught with several tougher challenges than amending the Delhi Act would have been. Under the procedure for the Delhi assembly, the repeal of an existing Act requires the assent of the union ministries of law and home, and the AAP has stated it will target corruption in the Congress. It is only after the two ministries have given permission, and the President his assent, that the new bill can be introduced in the assembly, where the AAP has only 28 of 70 members.
AAP leader Prashant Bhushan, an advocate, said the party would certainly repeal the existing Act and the new bill would be "substantially similar to the Janlokpal bill" of IAC. Should the Centre fail to give its consent to the proposed law, he said, "there will be a lot of noise and protest".
The AAP has approached several experts, including former Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin, for suggestions on the bill it proposes. "We will finalise the draft in a couple of days," said Somnath Bharti, MLA and member of the AAP legal cell.
Draft vs Bill vs Act
A key difference between the original Jan Lokpal draft and the Lokpal Bill is that the former proposes to give the ombudsman wider powers of investigation, besides the powers of conducting trials and imposing penalties. In terms of powers given, the Delhi Lokayukta Act is the most limited of the three.
- Activist, her aide booked for cheating in attempt to frame acquitted murder accused
- Extended Monorail running hours fails to pull crowd
- HC orders action against Essel World for causing harm to mangroves
- Cops crack bar girl’s murder case after waiter’s tip-off
- Railway to provide plastic pouches for commuter IDs
- Last safety check for Metro to begin April 18