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Legislative Comment: The Lokpal Bill, 2013 by S.C. Roy

Introduction:

The long awaited Lokpal Bill, passed in the Parliament in December 2013 has brought hope of corruption free India, to the citizen. The Lokpal Bill 2013[i] seeks to provide a mechanism to erase corruption in the public governance and the matters connected thereto. The term Lokpal (The people’s protector and caretaker) was coined by Lakshmimal Singhvi on 13th April 1963 during a parliamentary debate about grievance mechanism. The Lokpal is the Indian version of “Ombudsman “a Scandinavian[ii] word for a “grievance man “. It is a coincidence that the son of L.M. Singhvi, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, heading The Standing committee of parliament drafted the present bill. The historic debate on administrative reform in 1963 has taken us back to think that even in the early days of independence corruption was an issue though it was in a nascent stage. The present bill was tabled in parliament in 1968, 1971, 1985, 1989, 1998, and 2001, 2011-2012 and finally it could be passed in 2013.

This historic struggle to constitute Lokpal in Centre and Lokayukta in states shows the great concern of the people against corruption. Here it is an appropriate place to know what corruption is! Aristotle first used the term corruption. The term corruption comes from the word “corrupt” which means “guilty of dishonest practices”  ‘ “lacking integrity “, “infected “, “tainted”, “ debased in character “’ where as corruption means” to destroy the integrity of “. “cause to be dishonest “ , “lower morality “ , “rotten “, “spoiled “, “contaminated” etc.

Thus “corrupt “means “utterly broken “, “valueless “. Later Cicero added the terms “bribe and abandonment of good habits”. It is an illegitimate use of public power to benefit the private interest. The democracy depends upon The Government and its public offices through which the welfare schemes reach to the last person. The welfare schemes are administered by the chain of human system who are responsible for the development of the all.

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