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English Release 28-February 2015
Date Month Year
  • Prime Minister's Office
  • Text of PM’s reaction on Union General Budget 2015 to DD News
  • PM accepts resignation of Dr. R.K. Pachauri from PM's Council on Climate Change
  • PM welcomes Union Budget; terms it positive and pragmatic
  • PM remembers the dedication, determination and untiring efforts of our scientists on National Science Day
  • Department of Atomic Energy
  • Physics Utsav-2015 at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre inaugurated by Dr. Sekhar Basu, Director, BARC
  • Min for Develop. of North-East Region
  • Union Budget fulfills aspirations of the North-Eastern Region and J&K, say Dr. Jitendra Singh
  • Min of Defence
  • Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff pays Homage to Valiant Armed Forces Personnel at Noida Shaheed Smarak
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Budget 2015-16 Marks the Beginning of Co-Operative Federalism and Empowerment of the States.
  • Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) to be Established
  • ATAL Innovation Mission (AIM) to be Set up
  • Corporate Tax to be Reduced and GST to be Implemented
  • National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to be Set up
  • Five New Ultra-Mega Power Projects to be Set Up

    Second Unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station Will be Commissioned in 2015-16

  • Facilities at Cultural World Heritage Sites are to be Restored: Arun Jaitley
  • Arun Jaitley Says Development Should be as Green as Possible
  • Facilities at Cultural World Heritage Sites are to be Restored: Arun Jaitley
  • Education Sector Allocated Rs. 68968 Cr while Rural Development gets Rs 79526 Cr in the Year 2015-16
  • Task Force to Establish a Sector Neutral Financial Redressal Agency to be Set Up
  • Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) to be Set Up
  • Government to Launch A National Skills Mission Soon Aiims to be Launched in J&K, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam in 2015-16
  • Forwards Markets Commission to be Merged with Sebi
  • 8 Centrally Sponsored Schemes Delinked from Support of the Centre
  • No Change in the Rate of Personal Income-Tax and The Rate of Tax for Companies on Income in Financial Year 2015-16
  • A Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) an Electronic Plateform for Financing of Trade Receivables of MSMES
  • Monetising Gold
  • Postal Network Spread Across the Country to be Used for Increasing Access to Formal Financial System
  • Universal Social Security System for all Specially the Poor and the Under-Privileged:
  • Employees Under the Employees Provident Fund(EPF) to be Provided two Options
  • Shri Jaitley Announces Measures to Improve the Ease of Doing Business with
  • Focus to Improve Quality and Effectiveness of Activities Under MGNREGA
  • Benefits to Middle Class Tax Payers in the Budget 2015-16
  • ‘Act East’ Policy of the Government
  • Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank Set up for Small Enterprises in Lending Priority was Given to SC/ST Enterprises
  • Distinction Between Different types of Foreign Investments Done Away to Simplify the Procedure for Indian Companies to Attract Foreign Investment
  • Jaitley’s Budget to Create Jobs through Revival of Growth and Investment with Promotion of Domestic Manufacturing and “Make In India”
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna to be Fully Supported
  • Tax Measures Announced to Promote Swachh Bharat Initiatives and Public Health.
  • Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley Outlines Measures to Curb Black Money in Budget 2015-16
  • Effective and Hassle-Free Agriculture Credit with a Special Focus on Small and Marginal Farmers
  • Job Creation Through Revival of Growth and Investment and Promotion of Domestic Manufacturing and ‘Make in India’.
  • Investment In Infrastructure To Go Up By Rs.70,000 Crore In Year 2015-16 Over Year 2014-15
  • Black Money Bill in the Current Session
  • Corporate Tax to be Reduced and GST to be Implemented;
  • Eligible Donations to Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund to be 100% Deductible
  • Effective and Optimal Allocation of Natural Resources and Financial Inclusion Among the Priorities of the Government Enunciated in Budget Speech
  • Indirect Tax Proposals to Maximize Benefits to the Economy
  • Min of Health and Family Welfare
  • Budget is Pro-People, Balanced, Growth-Oriented, Inclusive and Progressive: Shri J P Nadd
  • Min of Home Affairs
  • Rajnath Singh congratulates Arun Jaitley
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Tourist Visa on Arrival Scheme to be Extended to 150 Countries Gradually, Finance Ministe
  • Min of Youth Affairs and Sports
  • Sports Minister Sarbanand Sonowal congratulates Indian cricket team

Previous Date

Special Service and Features28-June, 2011 16:01 IST
Jan Lokpal : Cure Worse than the Disease

Kapil  Sibal*


            The provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill, proposed by Shri Anna Hazare and his nominees must be analyzed, keeping in mind the broad features of our constitutional structure. Under our Constitution, the Executive is answerable to Parliament as well as to the Judiciary.  To Parliament: when Members from the Opposition seek explanations from Government for policy decisions, comment and analyze proposed Government legislation and seek information from Government. Through robust Parliamentary procedures including debates, the people of India are informed of the manner in which the Executive functions. The Legislature, namely the two Houses of Parliament, is answerable to the Court which has the power, through judicial review, to strike down legislation on the touchstone of our Constitution. Our Legislators are also responsible and accountable to their constituents when they seek re-election after the dissolution of the House.  The Judiciary, independent of both the Executive and the Legislature is accountable through an open and public judicial process. The hierarchy of courts helps correct judicial errors. Individual judges are also accountable through the process of impeachment by the Legislature. That has thus far not worked very well. We need to ensure greater accountability of the judiciary by framing a law which on the one hand protects judicial autonomy and independence, and at the same time ensures strict accountability. In other words, each limb of the State, the pillars of our constitutional system, is accountable, one way or the other. That is the essence of our Parliamentary Democracy.

            It is this essence which is in danger and is sought to be breached by the Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by Shri Anna Hazare and his nominees.  The Lokpal, according to the proposed Bill is an unelected executive body with independent investigation and prosecution agencies, answerable to none. It is not answerable to the Government, being outside it, since it will have the sole power to investigate all public servants. It is not answerable to the Legislature. Outside Government, we will have no access to its functioning, a prerequisite in informing Parliament. Besides, it will have the power to investigate all Members of Parliament. It is not answerable to the Judiciary except when it initiates the judicial process by taking recourse to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Besides, it will have the unique power to investigate members of the Judiciary.  Such an entity not accountable to any constitutional authority cannot be constitutionally justified.

            One argument opposing the above proposition is that the same logic applies to the Judiciary because it too is not answerable to either the Executive or the Legislature.  This logic is erroneous for two reasons: (1) All judicial proceedings are open to the public and judicial decisions are subject to revision, appeal and review. Judicial errors are liable to be corrected by superior courts.  The Lokpal on the other hand is essentially an investigating agency.  (2) The independence of the Judiciary cannot be equated to the independence of an executive authority being the Lokpal, the prime function of which is to investigate and prosecute. The Judiciary seeks to protect citizens. The Lokpal seeks to prosecute them. Autonomy of the Judiciary must be protected since the Judiciary resolves disputes. It is not mandated to prosecute people.  The second argument is that the Lokpal is just like the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), also independent constitutional authorities. Again the comparison is odious. The Election Commission’s functions are regulatory and periodic and the CAG’s function is to analyze expenditure of Government Departments and agencies funded by the Government to ensure that moneys allocated are not wastefully employed.

            It is, therefore, clear that in the scheme of things, an unelected Lokpal who is not accountable, is anathema to our concept of Parliamentary Democracy.

            Another broad feature which is worrisome is the general premise underlying the Jan Lokpal Bill. It proceeds on the assumption that corruption has been institutionalized and is all pervasive; that there is confluence of interests in Government Departments when a subordinate public servant charged with corruption is protected by his superior since the fruits of corruption are shared by all.  Consequently, corrupt acts are not dealt with and if dealt with, are delayed.  The same applies to the political process since the political class is corrupt and seeks to protect itself by not enacting laws which make them accountable.  These assumptions are not entirely accurate. The premise is that if a Lokpal is set up outside the Government, there would be no confluence of interests and the Lokpal will be able to cleanse the system.  I find this premise inherently faulty.   

Let us assume for a moment that we have put in place a Lokpal which has within its ambit, all Central Government employees (about 4 million) and a Lokayukta in every State which has in its ambit all State Government employees (about 7-8 million).  If the Lokpal or Lokayuktas are to deal with corrupt acts of about 10-12 million people, what is required is a mammoth machinery both in terms of manpower and otherwise to deal with individual acts of corruption by Government employees.  Where would that machinery come from?  Part of the human resource that is required will have to be transferred to the Lokpal from existing investigating agencies.  The human resource in the CBI that deals with corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 will have to be, to some extent, transferred along with personnel from other investigating agencies of Government. Besides, over the years, the Lokpal will have to separately recruit investigating and prosecuting officers for disparate needs.  It is not understood as to how the existing officers transferred to the Lokpal and the new recruits of the Lokpal will suddenly become chaste and incorruptible merely because they happen to function under the Lokpal.  The danger of setting up such a structure is that it may end up as a Frankenstein Monster without accountability and act as an oppressive institution outside the State.  This consequence is far more dangerous.  The cure, in that case, would be worse than the disease. You cannot have an Executive outside the constitutional framework, answerable to nobody, because the chances of such an organization corrupted by the sheer lust for power are much greater than the Executive functioning within a constitutional framework, where checks and balances ensure accountability. (PIB Features)

To be Continued


*Union Cabinet Minister and a Member of the Joint Drafting Committee






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