The target seems to be the NGOs, not corrupt officials
Danish Raza | June 22, 2011
Ahead of the all-party meeting on July 3 to discuss the government and civil society drafts on the proposed Lokpal Bill, Team Anna has explained just how the government's proposal will work if it is accepted. Both the drafts are attached with this story.
Here is the paper released by Team Anna:
Rather than gunning for the corrupt and corruption, government’s Lokpal seems to be gunning for those who complain against corruption.
How will Government’s Lokpal work?
Suppose some citizen files a complaint to Lokpal against some corrupt government servant.
Before the investigations actually start, the government servant can file a cross complaint against the citizen straight to the special court, without any preliminary enquiry by any agency, that the complaint is false or frivolous. The government will provide free advocate to the government servant to file this case. The citizen will have to defend himself on his own!
Then there is stiffer punishment for the complainant than the corrupt government servant. If the Special Court concludes that the complaint is frivolous or false, the citizen faces a minimum of two years of punishment. But if the corruption charges against government servant are proved, there is a minimum of six months of punishment for the corrupt government servant!
Government’s Lokpal will have jurisdiction over all NGOs in the country but it will have jurisdiction over less then o.5% of all government employees.
Government argued that the Lokpal would get overwhelmed with too many cases if all public servants were brought under its ambit. So, government has restricted its jurisdiction only to 65,000 Group A officers. Also, state employees will not be covered by Lokpal. There are 4 million central government employees and 8 million state government employees.
In sharp contrast, all NGOs are covered under government’s Lokpal, small or big, whether in state or centre. Even unregistered groups of people in remote villages are covered under the ambit of Lokpal. So, in a remote village, if a group of youngsters detect corruption in panchayat works using RTI, the youngsters can be hauled up by Lokpal but Lokpal would not have jurisdiction over Sarpanch, BDO or their corruption.
Whereas Lokpal would not have jurisdiction over Delhi government officials, it would have jurisdiction over all RWAs in Delhi. All small neighborhood groups who raise donations to do Ramlila or Durga Puja would be under Lokpal’s scanner.
Lokpal could haul up activists from any of the farmers, labour, anti-corruption, land, tribal or any other movements. All the movements – whether registered or not, are under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
There are 4.3 lakh registered NGOs. But there would be several million unregistered groups across the country. Lokpal would have jurisdiction over all of them.
No one can dispute the fact that corruption in NGOs needs to be addressed. But how can you leave most public servants out of Lokpal’s purview but bring NGOs upto village level within its purview?
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