Activists plan march, fast to battle corruption

Read their petition

GN Bureau | January 13, 2011



From Jagdeep Chhokar <jchhokar@gmail.com>

In the context of the march on Jan 30, I would like to inform everyone that members and supporters of Gandhian Satyagraha Brigade (GSB) are already sitting on a relay fast since Jan 01, 2011 at Jantar Mantar with three demands: (1) setting up of an effective Lokpal, (2) confiscation of property illegally acquired by bureaucrats and politicians convicted in corruption cases, and (3) barring candidates against whom charges have been framed in criminal cases from contesting elections. Few members of GSB sit on hunger strike from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day. This will continue till Jan 28, 2011.

If the government does not do anything by Jan 29, then 7 Gandhians will go on a fast-unto-death from Jan 30.

The march on Jan 30, that will start from Ramlila Ground at 1:00 PM, will end at the Jantar Mantar site where the Gandhians will already have commenced their fast-unto-death in the morning at 10:00 AM.

For those wishing to join the relay hunger strike or be there in support of it, the phone number at that site at Jantar Mantar is 2453-1110 (10:00 AM to 5:00 PM). The honorary general secretary of the GSB is Ashok Arora (98100-62089).

Jagdeep Chhokar

From Rishikesh Kumar <rishikesh.law@gmail.com>

India Marches Against Corruption

Thousands of people will take to streets to demand effective anti?corruption law

J M Lyngdoh, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi, Anna Hazare, Prashant Bhushan, Most Reverend Vincent M Concessao Archbishop of Delhi and others will march from Ramlila Grounds to Jantar Mantar on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, at 1 pm to demand enactment of a law to set up an effective anti?corruption body called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in each state (the existing Lokayukta Acts are weak and ineffective).

Kiran Bedi, Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan, J M Lyngdoh and others have drafted this Bill. Please visit our site for full text of this Bill. A nationwide movement called “India Against Corruption” has been started by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh, Most Reverend Vincent M Concessao Archbishop of Delhi, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Devinder Sharma, Sunita Godara, Mallika Sarabhai and many others to persuade government to enact this Bill.

Mrs Sonia Gandhi recently announced that Lokpal would be set up. However, the Lokpal suggested by the government is only a showpiece. It will have jurisdiction over politicians but not bureaucrats, as if politicians and bureaucrats indulge in corruption separately. And the most interesting part is that like other anti?corruption bodies in our country, the government is making Lokpal also an advisory body. So, Lokpal will recommend to the government to prosecute its ministers. Will any prime minister have the political courage to do that? Please participate in large numbers in this march to persuade the government to enact the Bill drafted by the people. Please turn overleaf to read how this Bill will help in effectively checking corruption.

Can India turn around?

There was much worse corruption in Hong Kong in 1970s than we have in India today. Collusion between police and mafia increased and crime rate went up. Lakhs of people came on the streets. As a result, the government had to set up an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which was given complete powers. In the first instance, ICAC sacked 119 out of 180 police officers. This sent a strong message to the bureaucracy that corruption would not be tolerated. Today, Hong Kong has one of the most honest governance machinery. India can also turn around if we also had similar anti?corruption body. Hong Kong government enacted ICAC Bill because lakhs of people came on streets.

Join the march on 30th January (Assembly at 1 pm at Ramlila Ground)
If you plan to join or volunteer with us, do call us
India Against Corruption
A?119, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad – 201010, UP. Ph: 09717460029 Email: indiaagainstcorruption.2010@gmail.com
www.indiaagainstcorruption.org

How will the Lokpal Bill drafted by citizens help curb corruption?

Existing system
No politician or senior officer ever goes to jail despite huge evidence because Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and CBI directly come under the government. Before starting investigation or initiating prosecution in any case, they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated.

Proposed System
Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta at state level will be independent bodies. ACB and CBI will be merged into these bodies. They will have power to initiate investigations and prosecution against any officer or politician without needing anyone’s permission. Investigation should be completed within 1 year and trial to get over in next 1 year. Within two years, the corrupt should go to jail.

Existing System
No corrupt officer is dismissed from the job because Central Vigilance Commission, which is supposed to dismiss corrupt officers, is only an advisory body. Whenever it advises government to dismiss any senior corrupt officer, its advice is never implemented.

Proposed System
Lokpal and Lokayukta will have complete powers to order dismissal of a corrupt officer. CVC and all departmental vigilance will be merged into Lokpal and state vigilance will be merged into Lokayukta.

Existing System
No action is taken against corrupt judges because permission is required from the Chief Justice of India to even register an FIR against corrupt judges.

Proposed System
Lokpal & Lokayukta shall have powers to investigate and prosecute any judge without needing anyone’s permission.

Existing System
Nowhere to go ? People expose corruption but no action is taken on their complaints.

Proposed System
Lokpal & Lokayukta will have to enquire into and hear every complaint.

Existing System
There is so much corruption within CBI and vigilance departments. Their functioning is so secret that it encourages corruption within these agencies.

Proposed System
All investigations in Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be transparent. After completion of investigation, all case records shall be open to public. Complaint against any staff of Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be enquired and punishment announced within two months.

Existing System
Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of anti?corruption agencies.

Proposed System
Politicians will have absolutely no say in selections of Chairperson and members of Lokpal & Lokayukta. Selections will take place through a transparent and public participatory process.

Existing System
Citizens face harassment in government offices. Sometimes they are forced to pay bribes. One can only complaint to senior officers. No action is taken on complaints because senior officers also get their cut.

Proposed System
Lokpal & Lokayukta will get public grievances resolved in time bound manner, impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day of delay to be deducted from the salary of guilty officer and award that amount as compensation to the aggrieved citizen.

Existing System
Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money.

Proposed System
Loss caused to the government due to corruption will be recovered from all accused.

Existing System
Small punishment for corruption? Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years.

Proposed System
Enhanced punishment ? The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.

If you are planning to join the march, please contact:
Rishikesh Kumar, Advocate
Delhi High Court, New Delhi
A-119, Kaushambi
Gaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Mobile: 9911483629

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