The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the citizens' ombudsman bill is a proposed independent anti-corruption law in India. Anti-corruption social activists proposed it as a more effective improvement to the original Lokpal bill, which is currently being proposed by the Government of India.
The Lokpal bill was first introduced by Shanti Bhushan in 1968 and passed the 4th Lok Sabha (lower house) in 1969. But the Lok Sabha was dissolved before the bill got through the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Parliament of India). The Subsequent versions were re-introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, but none of them passed.
In 2011, civil activist Anna Hazare started a Satyagraha movement by commencing an indefinite fast in New Delhi to demand the passing of the bill. The movement attracted attention in the media, and hundreds of thousands of supporters, in part due to the organizational skills of Arvind Kejriwal. Following Hazare's four day hunger strike, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the bill would be re-introduced in the 2011 monsoon session of the Parliament. Accordingly, a committee of five Cabinet Ministers and five social activists attempted to draft a compromise bill merging the two versions but failed. The Indian government went on to propose its own version in the parliament, which the activists rejected on the grounds of not being sufficiently effective (see Highlights below) and called it a "toothless bill".
The first version of the Lokpal Bill drafted by the Government of India in 2010 was considered ineffective by anti-corruption activists from the civil society. These activists, under the banner of India Against Corruption, came together to draft a citizen's version of the Lokpal Bill later called the Jan Lokpal.
According to a nationwide survey conducted by CNN-IBN & CNBC-TV18 and published in early August, only a shade over a third of respondents have heard of Lokpal. Thirty-four percent of all respondents said they have heard of the ombudsman and only 24 percent know what it actually means.