Why Hazare, others oppose govt's Lokpal Bill 2010

Lokpal will not have any power to either initiate action suo motu in any case or even receive complaints of corruption from general public. The general public will make complaints to the speaker of Lok Sabha or chairperson of Rajya Sabha. Only those complaints forwarded by Speaker of Lok Sabha/Chairperson of Rajya Sabha to Lokpal would be investigated by Lokpal. This not only severely restricts the functioning of Lokpal, it also provides a tool in the hands of the ruling party to have only those cases referred to Lokpal which pertain to political opponents (since speaker is always from the ruling party).

1. Lokpal has been proposed to be an advisory body. Lokpal, after enquiry in any case, will forward its report to the competent authority. The competent authority will have final powers to decide whether to take action on Lokpal's report or not. In the case of cabinet ministers, the competent authority is Prime Minister. In the case of PM and MPs the competent authority is Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, as the case may be. In the coalition era when the government of the day depends upon the support of its political partners, it will be impossible for the PM to act against any of his cabinet ministers on the basis of Lokpal's report. For instance, if there were such a Lokpal today and if Lokpal made a recommendation to the PM to prosecute A. Raja, obviously the PM will not have the political courage to initiate prosecution against A. Raja. Likewise, if Lokpal made a report against the PM or any MP of the ruling party, will the house ever pass a resolution to prosecute the PM or the ruling party MP? Obviously, they will never do that.

2. The bill is legally unsound. Lokpal has not been given police powers. Therefore Lokpal cannot register an FIR. Therefore all the enquiries conducted by Lokpal will tantamount to "preliminary enquiries". Even if the report of Lokpal is accepted, who will file the chargesheet in the court? Who will initiate prosecution? Who will appoint the prosecution lawyer? The entire bill is silent on that.

3. Lokpal will have jurisdiction only on MPs, ministers and PM. It will not have jurisdiction over officers. The officers and politicians do not indulge in corruption separately. In any case of corruption, there is always an involvement of both of them. So according to government's proposal, every case would need to be investigated by both CVC and Lokpal. So now, in each case, CVC will look into the role of bureaucrats while Lokpal will look into the role of politicians. Obviously the case records will be with one agency and the way government functions it will not share its records with the other agency. It is also possible that in the same case the two agencies arrive at completely opposite conclusions. Therefore it appears to be a sure way of killing any case.

4. Lokpal will consist of three members, all of them being retired judges. There is no reason why the choice should be restricted to judiciary. By creating so many post retirement posts for judges, the government will make the retiring judges vulnerable to government influences just before retirement as is already happening in the case of retiring bureaucrats. The retiring judges, in the hope of getting post retirement employment would do the bidding of the government in their last few years.

5. The selection committee consists of Vice President, PM, Leaders of both houses, Leaders of opposition in both houses, Law Minister and Home minister. Barring Vice President, all of them are politicians whose corruption Lokpal is supposed to investigate. So there is a direct conflict of interest. Also selection committee is heavily loaded in favor of the ruling party. Effectively ruling party will make the final selections. And obviously ruling party will never appoint strong and effective Lokpal.

6. Lokpal will not have powers to investigate any case against PM, which deals with foreign affairs, security and defence. This means that corruption in defence deals will be out of any scrutiny whatsoever. It will become impossible to investigate into any Bofors in future.

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Comment by Ranjan kumar jha on June 2, 2011 at 3:38pm
Accusing the government of cheating civil right activists on the issue of Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare today extended his support to yoga guru Ramdev's fast against corruption and said he will join the agitation.

The Gandhian said that the government lacks intention to root out corruption from the system.

"I will join Baba Ramdev on June 5. The fight is against corruption. The government has tried to cheat us. The government had assured us that they would look into our demand," he said, adding that he would hold discussions with the yoga guru on the way forward.

He said the government has "cheated" civil right activists on the issue of Lokpal Bill and people have realised the betrayal by the government.

"I will support Baba Ramdev so that the government does not do what it did when we were fighting. We will fight together against corruption," he said, ading that "henceforth, we will not be content with oral assurances on the issue of weeding out corruption".

Hazare also noted that the yoga guru has a standing in the public and wherever he goes people gather to hear him.

His remarks came a day after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee accompanied by Kapil Sibal, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Subodh Kant Sahay held talks with Ramdev yesterday to persuade him to give up his indefinite fast on corruption but the yoga guru said he would go ahead with it from June 4.

The government's efforts to prevent a repeat of a situation that evolved when Hazare-led civil society mounted a campaign for a strong Lokpal in April appeared to have not yielded immediate fruits as Ramdev insisted on "action" rather than "assurances" on the issue of bringing back black money stashed abroad.

Hazare also made it clear that everybody should come under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.

He said the government was getting its act together now only after Ramdev made it clear that he would start his agitation from June 4.

"For so many days we are demanding (immediate implementation of the Lokpal Bill), why did the government not listen to us. Now the government is running just because time has to come to sit on fast, he said.

"Baba Ramdev has been raising the issue of black money from so many days. Why did the government not think of doing something on the issue.People have now come to know what the intentions of the government are," he said.

Hazare said the fight against corruption will continue till their demands are met.

"Now no more hollow assurances and oral promises. What we want is action and the fight against corruption will continue throughout the country till we get what we want," he said.
Comment by Ranjan kumar jha on May 3, 2011 at 9:07am
Atleast hum aj ke bad atleast itna kare ki na bribe lenge na denge na hi apne samne kisi ko lene denge.na hi apne samne kisi ko dene denge.aur apne family me bhi kisi ko na bribe lene denge aur na dene denge. kaphi imrpvement aa jayega.
Comment by saket on May 3, 2011 at 12:00am
Bilkul sahi kaha ranjan ji. hume majboot lokpal bill ki jarurat hai. main toh kranti me vishwas rakhta hoon. Aur mujhe lagta hai ki uska aaghaz ho chuka hai, hme bas use anjaam dene ki jarurat hai
Comment by Ranjan kumar jha on May 2, 2011 at 10:10am
we need strong lokpal. we all must support of anna hazare. from today onwards we must not take and give bribe.
Comment by saket on May 1, 2011 at 4:45pm
Aaj desh me bhrastachar ka mukhya karan hi neta hain. Koi bhi neta dudh se dhula nhi hai, fir chahe woh vajpayee ho ya advani ya manmohan.. Aisi halat me anna aur un jaise samaj sevak ka aandolan chedna kaafi aavashyak tha.. Misra aur Libya me jo hua usse Bharat par bhi asar pada hai. Logon k andar ek naya vishwas jagrit hua hai.. Anna k is aandolan ne isi vishwas ko badhawa diya. Ab aam  log bhi badlao ki hawa ko  mehsoos karne lage hain aur iske liye qurbani dene ko taiyyar hai.. Kamse kam anna ne bharat k in aam nagriko me ekta aur samaj k prati unke dayitwa ko toh jagrit kiya hai.. Pure Bharat me ye aandolan ek saath chala bina kissi ache netritwa k, ye badi hairan karne wali bat hai. Lekin aaj k  samay me netritwa yya neta ki pehchan khatm hoti ja rahi hai. Misra me bhi  hme yahi dekhne ko mila. Isley ab ye bhi jarurri nhi hai ki kissi aandolan ko anjaam dene k liye  pehle neta ka chunav jaruri hai...
Comment by saket on May 1, 2011 at 3:14pm

Salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill

  1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

  2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

  3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

  4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

  5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

  6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

  7. But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

  8. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.

  9. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

  10. It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.

 


Comment by Ranjan kumar jha on April 7, 2011 at 11:05am
bilkul sahi bol rahe hai akash arjun ji. we all must support anna hazare . puri community ko unke support me aana parega. aur anna hazare la bill goverment ko pass karna hi parega.
Comment by Aakash Arjuna on April 7, 2011 at 10:40am
Yeh bill pass ho gaya toh ghuskhoro aur bhrast logo ka Vinash ho jayega !! magar bada sawal yeh hai ki yeh bill kya pass ho sakta hai?? kyunki naa hi BJP naa hi Congress chahti hai hai ki yeh bill pass ho, kyunki dono ke party ke netao ka bank balance kaise banega??

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