(The Jan Lokpal Bill is at the heart of the anti-corruption movement now raging in India. Here is a brief overview of the bill based on my reading of the JLP bill ver 2.3 and its key features. This is an extract from my longer opinion piece, On Public Corruption in India.)
The JLP bill is associated with the self-styled Gandhian, Anna Hazare, and his team—Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, and others—under the banner of "India Against Corruption". It proposes to create a single independent agency to investigate allegations of public corruption all across India in accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. It'll incorporate the currently defanged anti-corruption units of existing agencies, like the CBI and CVC.
The Lokpal will have eleven appointed members, all "eminent individuals", chosen by a search and a selection committee. It will have lots of investigators and support staff. Investigators will have the powers vested in police officers, and will also be able to wiretap any suspect's phone and internet lines (utilizing a 2008 amendment to the Information Technology Act 2000, which, incidentally, has been criticized for lacking adequate "legal and procedural safeguards to prevent violation of civil liberties").
Complaints against any government employee can be filed by any citizen in the form of an FIR. Following investigations, the Lokpal can fine, demote, or fire government employees from their jobs. It will prosecute them in special courts established within the existing judicial system (more courts can be created based on demand) and all trials have to be completed within 12 months. It will even go after their personal assets to recover the embezzled monies. Whistle-blowers are protected but frivolous or vindictive complaints are punishable by a fine.
Alongside the independence and prosecutory power vested in the Lokpal, the bill has some provisions to thwart abuses of power. Whether on not they are adequate is I think debatable. The Lokpal's and the special court's decisions can be legally challenged, though, for no good reason, this has been made far more onerous than for other civil and criminal cases. For transparency, the Lokpal will post each month the full records of completed investigations on the web, cases opened and closed, and minutes of board meetings. An Independent Complaints Authority with multiple offices, each comprised of five appointed "eminent individuals", would hear complaints against corrupt Lokpal officials and remove them if necessary, but the Lokpal's eleven members can be removed only by the Supreme Court.
Employment quotas, much as in other government bodies, will exist at the investigator and staff level, but not among its top echelon or in the search and selection committees. And while much of the focus is on policing, the bill also requires additional reforms to increase the odds of its success against corruption. For instance, it requires all public offices to publish a citizen's charter defining roles, responsibilities, and procedures, as well as a grievance redressal system. However, the entire focus of the bill is on the conduct of the public servant, and none at all on the "demand side" of the market, that is, on the role of ordinary citizens and businesses in creating incentives for public corruption. To tackle public corruption in state governments, each state will have a similar ombudsman agency too, called the Lokayukta.