The Lokpal Bill, then and now

Lalu LokpalLalu Prasad with the original bill in December 2011. (IE photo)

What's changed, what hasn't between original bill and amended version, headed for Rajya Sabha

Lokayuktas

Bill: Said it will only be applicable to states that give consent.

Select committee: Lokayukta mandatory for all states, which have the freedom to determine the specifics depending on their requirements.

Cabinet: Accepted. State must set up Lokayuktas within 365 days from the date of the Act.

Eligibility & appointment

Bill: Lokpal chairperson or members shall not be connected with any political party; one member will be an eminent jurist nominated by President.

Select committee: Replace the word "connected" with "affiliated"; one member will be an eminent jurist nominated by the President.

Cabinet: Accepted.

Jurisdiction

Bill: Includes societies, trusts and associations that receive donations from the public over a specified annual amount; those that receive foreign donations over Rs 10 lakh a year.

Select committee: Exclude organisations that receive public donations from the public over a certain specified annual amount.

Cabinet: Not accepted. Exclude only public religious or charitable trusts, and endowments or societies for religious or charitable purposes.

Probe procedure

Bill: If Lok Pal decides to proceed on a complaint, it shall order a preliminary inquiry by the inquiry wing or any other investigative agency.

Select committee: If it decides to proceed, it shall either order a preliminary inquiry, or if a prima facie case already exists it may order an investigation by any investigative agency.

Cabinet: Accepted with modification. The Lokpal should, before concluding there is a prima facie case, call for an explanation from the public servant, and order an investigation only after that.

***

Bill: During inquiry, comments of the public servant and competent authority shall be obtained; the public servant shall be given an opportunity of being heard.

Select committee: Replace "shall be obtained" with "may be obtained"; delete provision for giving an opportunity of being heard.

... contd.

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