Anti corruption activist Anna Hazare describes the approved Lokpal bill as a 'farce', says he cannot trust PM, Sonia to bring stringent Lokpal bill
GN Bureau | January 31, 2013
The amended Lokpal Bill, which delinks the central government from creation of state Lokayuktas, was on Thursday approved by the union cabinet, paving the way for its consideration by Parliament.
The revised bill incorporates a number of changes recommended by the Rajya Sabha select committee, including appointment of the Director of Prosecution by the CVC.
The government, however, has not accepted a key recommendation of the panel that an official facing an inquiry by the Lokpal should not be given an opportunity to be heard at the stage of the preliminary inquiry.
The select committee, to which the controversial bill was referred in view of sharp differences between political parties, had recommended delinking of the creation of Lokayuktas from the Lokpal Bill. This was one of the most controversial provisions with several parties contending that it amounts to the central government encroaching upon the rights of the states.
The Bill had said state governments will have to set up Lokayuktas within one year of enactment of Lokpal.
On the issue of giving opportunity to an official to present his or her view, the government feels that such a protection is required and depriving the officials facing allegations the opportunity to present their views was against the "principle of protection".
Another recommendation made by the select committee was that when a CBI officer investigating a case is sought to be transferred for any reason, prior approval of the Lokpal should be required.
The Cabinet has not favoured the proposal and has suggested an amendment saying transferring any official would remain the exclusive right of the government and the CBI chief as it was an administrative matter.
Another amendment to the select committee report approved by the cabinet is that societies and trusts which receive government aid and not funds have been kept out of the ambit of the Lokpal. But organisations which receive major funding from the government have been kept under the ambit of the proposed ombudsman.
The amendments will now be put to vote in the Rajya Sabha where the measure is stuck since last year. After getting cleared from the upper house, the legislation will travel back to Lok Sabha for fresh approval of the amendments.
The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha but government's efforts to provide Lokpal with constitutional status did not succeed in the lower house.
"Cannot trust PM, Sonia to bring stringent Lokpal bill"
Meanwhile, Anna Hazare on Thursday said he does not trust prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for enactment of a stringent Lokpal Bill.
Describing the Lokpal Bill approved by the union cabinet as 'a farce', Hazare said he had written a letter to the Congress president in reply to her letter to him seeking clarification whether the proposed bill will be a stringent one and whether CBI and the CVC will be kept out of the government's control. But she has not responded to these clarifications, he said and trashed the proposed Lokpal Bill. "The centre is trying to befool the people by going ahead with it," he said.
If the government went ahead with the enactment of a 'weak' Lokpal Bill, he would launch another agitation. Hazare sat on indefinite hunger strike at the Ramlila grounds in Delhi last year to press for the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Just after the UP assembly election in 1996, I was among the scores of reporters waiting at Kalyan Singh’s residence, waiting to get the first inkling of the future course of the BJP. The party had secured the maximum seats – 174 out of 425 seats – but was short of the majority mark
“Company Secretaries, once known as secretaries to the board and management, have transformed themselves into key managerial and governance professionals. Today they are recognised for their importance on corporate landscape and have become gatekeepers of corporate governance,” said Ajay Tyagi,
Any good news which promises to bring about qualitative improvement in the lives of people, especially in rural India, is always welcome. It was heartening indeed to learn that every single village in the country now has access to electricity, as announced by the prime minister on April 29. This is most ce
The paved road, the few concrete houses and men on motorcycles – these are deceptive signs of development in Madralalpur village. Only a couple of weeks ago, Babu, a 47-year-old distressed farmer, had hanged himself from a babool tree. Villagers were gathered at his house as his wife, mother, sister-
Statistics has come a long way from the time when British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli observed: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Statistics is now an accredited branch of applied mathematics; statistical methods are routinely used to prove or disprove the
Of all offences, it’s the crime of rape that fires public sentiment the most, eliciting an outrage that exceeds the seemingly worst felony of all – murder too. It has probably more to do with the offence and associated gory details staying, even being replayed ruthlessly, in memory with continu