30 May 2011

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Government wants Lokpal only for Namesake Government and Civil society disagree on all points in a meeting held on May 30, 2011

Government wants Lokpal only for Namesake Government and Civil society disagree on all points in a meeting held on May 30, 2011

Details of Lokpal Bill drafting committee meeting held on May 30, 2011

On May 30, 2011 Once again drafting committee members met and started their discussions on the draft of the Bill.

Drafting committee has two teams one team represents the politicians and other team represents you and me all Indian citizens who are the owners only for the name sake.

So exactly what happened in today’s meeting?

Point One – Prime Minister and Lokpal –

Government team representing politicians said that Prime Minister should not be covered under Lokpal.

Then civil society members said that a seven member bench of Lokpal would first hear that complaint and decide whether there was an adequate prima facie evidence against the PM. If there were none, the complaint would be dismissed. However, government did not agree.

In short government said that whatever may be complaint, complaint may be true or false
Prime Minister will not come under the Lokpal.

Point 2 – Judiciary and Lokpal

Government said that “Judiciary would be out of Lokpal.

Civil society said that against a Judge a seven member bench of Lokpal will decide whether an FIR should be registered against a judge or not.

Today only Supreme Court of India got this power.
Only Chief Justice of India has the power to give that permission. And despite so much evidence against so many judges in public domain, permission had been given only in one case in the last 20 years.

In this government said that Judiciary must stay independent it will not come under Lokpal.

In the meeting held on 7th May, Prashant Bhushan had even told Mr. Chidambaram how Mr. Chidambaram himself had sought permission to register FIR against Justice Sen Gupta of Kolkatta High Court. Permission was sought from the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Venkatachaliah, who is very well known for his integrity. However, even Justice Venkatachaliah did not give permission. Was the evidence against Justice Sen Gupta strong enough? The strength of the evidence can be gauged from the fact that Justice Sen Gupta was raided and arrested soon after he retired because after retirement, permission of CJI was not required.

However, the government did not agree saying it would compromise the independence of judiciary.
We said that the independence of judiciary was compromised under the present system which was encouraging corruption. Government said that judiciary should be dealt under Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, which was pending in Parliament.

We told them that the said Bill was very bad and would end up protecting corrupt judges rather than punishing them. Also, interestingly, the said Bill does not even talk of punishing and prosecuting “corruption” of judges. It only talks of enquiring against their “Misbehavior”.

The government said that they would include corruption also in the said bill. Then we said, if you want to include judiciary’s corruption in that bill, let this committee decide on drafting that Bill also.

To that they refused. They said – you give your suggestions and we will recommend them to the Standing committee.

This means that the government wants to include judiciary in a weak and ineffective Bill and does not want their corruption to be dealt through a strong and effective mechanism.

Point No.3 – MPs bribery inside Parliament will not be covered

If a MP takes bribe to vote or ask questions in Parliament, which would not be covered under Lokpal. Only his conduct outside will be covered.

What does an MP do outside Parliament? Just recommend projects out of his Constituency fund.

There too, he merely recommends and the project is executed by the officers. Therefore, effectively, all MPs would be outside the purview of Lokpal. Purchase and sale of MPs is endangering the very foundations of our democracy.

They may be purchased not just by other parties but could be purchased by other countries or corporates.

Therefore, in order to save our democracy, it is extremely important that this is covered under Lokpal.

However, the Government said that the Parliament should be allowed to do “self regulation”. We told them that this self regulation had not worked and their corruption should be investigated by some independent body.
They simply refused.

Point No.4 –

All officers will not be covered under Lokpal : Only Joint Secretary and above will be covered. Who will deal with corruption at levels below that?

They said that the existing system would continue. But the existing system was not working.

They had no answers.

We said that the common man wants an answer to corruption in his day to day life – bad roads, corruption in PDS etc.

Who will deal with it? We said that the whole country had risen against corruption to seek solutions to corruption at all levels.

Point No 5 –

CBI, CVC and departmental vigilance will not be merged in Lokpal: Government said that let all these agencies continue.

Let Lokpal have its own machinery.
But why does the government want to keep a CBI under its own control?

It appears that the Prime Minister does not want to be investigated by an independent body but will get himself investigated by CBI, which is directly under his own control. Also, CBI has been misused by every successive government to arm twist politically inconvenient opponents. Government perhaps wants to continue doing that.

Point No.6 –

Public Grievances: Government agreed to the concept of citizen’s charter and that violation of citizen’s charter would be deemed to be corruption at some stage of up scaling of a grievance.

Justice Santosh Hegde asked the government – “Then who is covered under Lokpal? And what is the purpose of creating such a Lokpal?”

Effectively, the Lokpal would have jurisdiction only on Joint Secretary and above officers but not on the PM. There would be around 2000 such odd officers in Government of India. Are we creating Lokpal for investigating corruption of such a few officers? Was this the purpose of such a big anti-corruption movement in India?

Definitely government’s intentions are suspect. Please prepare yourself for the next huge movement in the country.

But if the government disagrees, we should be ready to take to the streets.

Reality views by sm –
Monday, May 30, 2011

Keyword Tag – Lokpal Bill Meeting details Government disagree


Arti May 31, 2011  

Corruption is so rampant in our country that it will take ages to clean us the mess that we are in...
Great post sm.

Renu May 31, 2011  

I was surprised to see govt reaction..why exclued anyone.? why shouldnt PM and MPs think of being honest, rather than thinking of being out of bill?

Kirtivasan Ganesan May 31, 2011  

The civil society members should agree to :-
Government not committing on PM, judiciary.

The civil society members should not agree to:-
Government excluding PM, judiciary.

They should have faith in the parliament and keep the ball rolling.

Alka Gurha May 31, 2011  

They will kill the movement slowly and softly....and have the last laugh

Kirtivasan Ganesan May 31, 2011  

sm, the civil society members are either with the government or maybe not smart enough.
It will be a sheer waste to involve in the next huge movement.

sm,  May 31, 2011  


sm,  May 31, 2011  


sm,  May 31, 2011  

Alka Gurha,,

sm,  May 31, 2011  

Nothing is going happen if we do not Support Movement of Anna.
We wasted our life in Gutter Lets us hope next generation will get a good life, clean water and list is unlimited.

Kirtivasan Ganesan May 31, 2011  

I am not against Anna.
But the Bhushan duo. They are not good. I never trusted these guys since the CBI said their CD is true.
Let us wait and watch as to what is Anna's next step.

sm,  May 31, 2011  

Support the Cause not the Person.
After all Law is important not the Person.

Dalip Kumar Saini June 09, 2011  

Dear, I have a valid apprehension for the passing of this popular Jan Lok Pal Bill in the parliament. Even all the points that our civil society team wanted to include in the draft are agreed upon by the government to make Anna ji and his team happy, we must understand the mind set and intention of each member of parliament individually and as a political party, they will not allow this bill to be passed. This bill is also going to meet the same fate as all earlier bills have seen. I understand that even some parties have refused to say any thing pertaining to this bill and instead expressed their opinion stating that let the bill be placed in the house, then we will say any thing. It clearly shows their intention, seriousness and sincerity about fighting corruption.

Regards: Dalip Kumar Saini
Cedar Estate, Gurgaon.

sm,  June 10, 2011  

Dalip Kumar Saini,,