Jan Lokpal vs. Lokpal

What's the Difference?

Jan Lokpal and Lokpal are both anti-corruption institutions in India, but they differ in certain aspects. Jan Lokpal, also known as the Citizen's Ombudsman Bill, was proposed by social activist Anna Hazare and his team in 2011. It aimed to create an independent body with the power to investigate and prosecute corruption cases against public officials, including the Prime Minister. On the other hand, Lokpal, which was established in 2013, is a statutory body created under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act. It is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints of corruption against public officials, but it does not have jurisdiction over the Prime Minister. While both institutions have the common goal of combating corruption, Jan Lokpal had a more comprehensive approach and sought to address the issue at all levels of government.


AttributeJan LokpalLokpal
DefinitionA proposed anti-corruption ombudsman bill in IndiaAn anti-corruption ombudsman institution in India
OriginProposed by the civil society movement led by Anna HazareEstablished by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
ScopeApplies to central government officials and employeesApplies to central government officials and employees, as well as state government officials and employees
AppointmentSelection committee consisting of various membersSelection committee consisting of various members
PowersInvestigation, prosecution, and prevention of corruptionInvestigation, prosecution, and prevention of corruption
JurisdictionCan investigate cases of corruption within the central governmentCan investigate cases of corruption within the central and state governments
IndependenceProposed to be an independent bodyIntended to be an independent body

Further Detail


Corruption has long been a pressing issue in many countries, hindering development, eroding public trust, and impeding progress. In India, the need for an effective anti-corruption body led to the establishment of Lokpal, a statutory body responsible for investigating and prosecuting corruption cases involving public officials. However, over time, concerns arose regarding the effectiveness and independence of Lokpal, leading to the proposal of Jan Lokpal, an alternative anti-corruption ombudsman. This article aims to compare the attributes of Jan Lokpal and Lokpal, shedding light on their similarities and differences.

Composition and Appointment

One of the key differences between Jan Lokpal and Lokpal lies in their composition and appointment process. Lokpal consists of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, all of whom are appointed by the President of India on the advice of a selection committee. This committee includes the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Chief Justice of India, and an eminent jurist nominated by the President.

In contrast, Jan Lokpal proposes a more decentralized and participatory approach. It suggests the establishment of Lokpal at the central level and Lokayuktas at the state level. The selection of Lokpal members would involve a transparent and inclusive process, including the participation of citizens through public consultations and the involvement of the judiciary and civil society organizations. This approach aims to ensure a broader representation and reduce the influence of political appointments.

Powers and Jurisdiction

Both Jan Lokpal and Lokpal possess extensive powers to investigate and prosecute corruption cases. They have the authority to initiate inquiries, conduct investigations, and file charges against public officials involved in corrupt practices. However, there are some differences in their jurisdiction.

Lokpal has jurisdiction over central government employees, including ministers, Members of Parliament, and Group A officers. It can also investigate cases referred to it by the President or the Supreme Court. On the other hand, Jan Lokpal proposes to have jurisdiction over all public servants, including those working at the central, state, and local levels. This broader jurisdiction aims to ensure comprehensive coverage and address corruption at all levels of governance.

Independence and Accountability

Independence and accountability are crucial aspects of any anti-corruption body. Lokpal, as established by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, enjoys a certain degree of independence. The selection committee, responsible for appointing Lokpal members, includes non-political members such as the Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist. This composition aims to ensure a level of independence from political influence.

Jan Lokpal, however, emphasizes even greater independence and accountability. It proposes a two-tier selection process, involving a search committee and a selection committee. The search committee would be responsible for preparing a list of eligible candidates, while the selection committee, comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India, would make the final appointments. This process aims to minimize political interference and enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the anti-corruption body.

Public Grievance Redressal

Addressing public grievances is an essential aspect of any anti-corruption body. Lokpal provides for a separate wing called the "Lokpal Public Grievance Redressal Wing" to handle complaints related to corruption. This wing is responsible for receiving complaints, conducting preliminary inquiries, and forwarding cases to the appropriate authorities for further action.

Jan Lokpal, on the other hand, proposes a more integrated approach to grievance redressal. It envisions the establishment of a "Lokpal Aayog" at the central and state levels, which would serve as a single window for receiving and addressing complaints related to corruption. This integrated approach aims to streamline the grievance redressal process and provide a more efficient mechanism for citizens to report corruption.


Both Jan Lokpal and Lokpal aim to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability in governance. While Lokpal has been in existence for several years, Jan Lokpal represents a proposed alternative with a more decentralized and participatory approach. Jan Lokpal emphasizes broader representation, greater independence, and an integrated grievance redressal mechanism. The effectiveness of these anti-corruption bodies ultimately depends on their implementation and the commitment of the government and citizens to fight corruption. Regardless of the approach taken, it is crucial to address corruption comprehensively and ensure that those responsible for corrupt practices are held accountable.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.