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In April 2011, civil activist Anna Hazare started a Satyagraha movement by commencing an indefinite fast in New Delhi to demand the passing of the bill. The movement attracted attention in the media, and hundreds of thousands of supporters, in part due to the organizational skills of Arvind Kejriwal. Following Hazare's four day hunger strike, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the bill would be re-introduced in the 2011 monsoon session of the Parliament. Accordingly, a committee of five Cabinet Ministers and five social ...view middle of the document...
His son Dr. Abhishek Singhvi is now the head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee reviewing the bill. The prefix Jan (translation: citizens) was added to signify the fact that these improvements include input provided by "ordinary citizens" through an activist-driven, non-governmental public consultation.
The Lokpal bill was first introduced by Shanti Bhushan in 1968 and passed the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969. But before it could be passed by Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha was dissolved and the bill lapsed. The Subsequent versions were re-introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, but none of them passed. The bill was inspired by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Key features of proposed bill
Some important features of the proposed bill are:
1. To establish a central government anti-corruption institution called Lokpal, supported by Lokayukta at the state level.
2. As in the case of the Supreme Court and Cabinet Secretariat, the Lokpal will be supervised by the Cabinet Secretary and the Election Commission. As a result, it will be completely independent of the government and free from ministerial influence in its investigations.
3. Members will be appointed by judges, Indian Administrative Service officers with a clean record, private citizens and constitutional authorities through a transparent and participatory process.
4. A selection committee will invite short-listed candidates for interviews, videorecordings of which will thereafter be made public.
5. Every month on its website, the Lokayukta will publish a list of cases dealt with, brief details of each, their outcome and any action taken or proposed. It will also publish lists of all cases received by the Lokayukta during the previous month, cases dealt with and those which are pending.
6. Investigations of each case must be completed in one year. Any resulting trials should be concluded in the following year, giving a total maximum process time of two years.
7. Losses to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction.
8. Government officework required by a citizen that is not completed within a prescribed time period will result in Lokpal imposing financial penalties on those responsible, which will then be given as compensation to the complainant.
9. Complaints against...