New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi introduced its anti-corruption legislation, the Jan Lokpal bill, in the state assembly, fulfilling an electoral promise and paving the way for the creation of an ombudsman with powers to investigate any act of corruption in Delhi, including those involving central government officials and functionaries.

That could further sour the already bad ties between the state and Union governments.

Terming the move historic, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia introduced the bill in the Delhi assembly.

“Since 2011, the Delhi government was trying to introduce the bill. The eradication of corruption requires the establishment of an effective and expeditious anti-corruption authority and the Jan Lokpal will help in establishing the National Capital Territory of Delhi as a corruption-free zone. Such a bill has never been introduced in Indian history; this is a historic moment for all of us. I am presenting before you the most independent Lokpal," Sisodia said.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called the bill the strongest anti-corruption law in independent India.

“Members chosen for the Jan Lokpal will be selected by a committee of four people. Chief justice of the high court will be the chairperson, the chief minister, leader of the opposition and the speaker of the legislative assembly will be members of the committee," said Sisodia.

The bill sets a time frame for completion of investigations (six months to a year), links the quantum of punishment to the seniority of the individual involved, and will also be applicable in the case of companies.

The AAP was born out of an anti-corruption movement led by Gandhian Anna Hazare, who wanted a central law against corruption.

The party split from the movement after founder Kejriwal decided to take the political route to reforming the system.

Former AAP member Prashant Bhushan protested against the bill (he claims it is weak) outside the assembly and was arrested.

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