By Anuj Kapoor
In the last Joint Committee meeting of the members of the drafting committee for Lokpal Bill on 21st June, the government members and the members from the civil society were unable to reach a consensus. Thus, both the parties came up with their own version of the bill. The government's bill and the bill prepared by Team Anna are available on the Primary Sources page. There are a lot of agreements as well as disagreements, some of them fundamental. There are areas in one bill which are not even touched upon in the other. Which bill propopes a better, more workable institution of an ombudsman, and which itself would not suffer from the infirmities that it proposes to eliminate, are intractable questions.
In my opinion, there are positives and negatives in both the bills and it would be improper to aim at enactment in a hurry. The government does need to be commended for coming this far, but it should encourage and engage in more debate if it is truly desirous of tackling the menace of corruption. Here is a brief provision-by-provision comparison of the two bills in a tabular form which will hopefully assist the reader in forming an opinion on the two bills.
[Anuj Kapoor, IV Year student of Symbiosis Law School, Pune, is currently an intern with LAOT]