Activists demand independent body to fight corruption

Present their version of Lokpal bill


Danish Raza | December 1, 2010

Coming down heavily on the government for its failure to tackle corruption, the civil society has come out with a proposed Lokpal bill to constitute an effective body to nail corruption.

RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Agnivesh signed the draft Lokpal bill.

Copies of the bill will be send to the prime minister, central vigilance commission (CVC) and the chief ministers of all the states.

“We are witnessing scams such as the one happened during the commonwealth games 2010 and 2G scam because there is no effective mechanism to tackle corruption in India. CVC is just an advisory body and CBI is always under the influence of the ruling government. We need an independent body to deal with corruption cases,” said Arvind Kejriwal.

Kiran Bedi said that white collar crimes were least attended to in the country and it was high time we had a body which was neutral in its investigations.

“You should file RTI application to find out that how many people have been prosecuted under section 420 of the CrPC. I can assure you that the figures will be shocking,” said she.

India against corruption- the campaign under which the proposed bill was released, will hold talks and rallies in various states including Maharashtra, Bihar and Bangalore.

“Maharashtra was the first state to have RTI act. Next week, I will start campaigning for the Lokpall bill so that people from Maharashtra can creat pressure on the government,” said social activist Anna Hazare.

Here are the features of the Lokpal bill proposed by ‘India against corruption’:

- There shall be an institution of Lokpal with ten members and headed by a chairperson.

-That part of CBI which deals with cases of corruption shall be merged with Lokpal.

- CVC and the entire internal vigilance set in various central government departments will be merged with Lokpal. 

- Lokpal will be completely independent of the government.

- Lokpal shall have jurisdiction over bureaucrats, politicians and judges.

- Lokpal shall have the powers ti initiate investigations and prosecutions without needing permission from any other agency.

- Public grievances are often linked to demands/ expectations of bribery. Lokpal shall act as appellate authority and supervisory body for grievance redressal system in all central governments departments.

- Lokpal shall be responsible for providing protection against physical and professional victimization to whistleblowers.

- Members and chairperson in Lokpal shall be selected through a transparent and participatory process.

- The functioning of Lokpal shall be completely transparent to avoid it from becoming a hub of corruption.

- Any complaint of wrongdoing against an official of Lokpal shal be investigated and acted upon within a month through a transparent enquiry process.

- If charges are proved and conviction takes place, loss to the exchequer caused due to his wrongdoing shall be recovered from all those who are convicted.




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