Hazare appeals to govt on eve of cab discussion on Lokpal

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Danish Raza | July 27, 2011



A day before the government puts the Lokpal bill before the cabinet for discussion, Anna Hazare has appealed the government to consider a strong Lokpal bill.

“It is a rare opportunity for UPA government to change the history of India. If they present a strong Lokpal bill, the whole country would be indebted to them. We sincerely appeal to the union cabinet to present a strong Lokpal bill in parliament,” appealed Anna Hazare.

Arvind Kejriwal questioned, “There is nothing for the common man in the present version of government’s Lokpal bill. Common man’s corruption (sic) has been completely left out of Lokpal bill. For instance, in government schools in villages, teachers rarely turn up. They collect their monthly salaries and pay a part of it to basic Shiksha Adhikari for marking false attendance. Corruption faced by a common man in his day to day life is covered under government’s draft of the Lokpal bill.”

Kejriwal added, "Karnataka Lokayukta released the PDS (public distribution system) scam report on Tuesday indicating a monthly loss of Rs 146 crores and mining scam involving the top politicians including the chief minister."

“The government claims that it first wants to tackle high-level corruption. However, none of the large scams of recent times like the Adarsh housing scam, the Commonwealth Games scam, the Reddy brothers scam, mining scam, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha scam, Cash for vote scam, fodder scam, Taj corridor scam – none of these scams are covered by government’s Lokpal. So, what is covered under government’s Lokpal?” said Prashant Bhushan.

Kejriwal said, "If the government presents a bill which has right structures and strong foundation, but even if we have a few differences with them, the Parliament will be able to rectify those anomalies. In that case, we will be able to appeal to the standing committee of the Parliament.”

Points on which the government and the civil society differ:

  • Whether this Bill will set up only Lokpal at the centre or will it set up Lokayuktas also at state level through the same Bill?
  • What would be the structure of Lokpal? Would it be an 11 member body with all powers concentrated in the 11 members or would these 11 members have powers to delegate powers and functions?
  • Would it have jurisdiction over entire bureaucracy or only a small set of senior officers?
  • Would CBI’s anti-corruption branch be merged into Lokpal?

 

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