Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jan Lokpal Bill Vs. Draft Lokpal Bill

Kudos to all Civil Society Members who initiated the concept 'To Nail out corruption' via Jan Lokpal Bill. They gone through with some major tough phases but in the end Government agreed to chalk out a draft with the consensus of all Civil Society members & Group of Ministers (GoM). Civil Society Group, headed by a veteran Gandhian, Mr. Kisan Baburao Hazare popularly known as Mr. Anna Hazare, single-handedly  dragged out the sleeping Government from his long-lasting sleep to prepare a Rocksolid Jan Lokpal Bill.

First Lets discuss, What are the conflicts between the Jan Lokpal Bill (Proposed by Civil Society) & Draft Lokpal Bill (Drafted by Uttermost person's of our Government)...

  1. As per Government's norm, LOKPAL will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the General Public (i.e. us). It can only probe the complaints forwarded by the Speaker of the LokSabha or the Chairman of the RajyaSabha while Civil Society wants, a full power to  initiate suo moto action or receive complaints from the general public.
  2. LOKPAL will only be an advisory body with limited roles to forwarding reports to a 'Competent Authority' whereas Civil Society wants a complete authority to prosecute anybody found guilty.
  3. LOKPAL will have no Police power & ability to register First Information Report (F.I.R.) or proceed with criminal proceedings as just opposite proposed by Civil Society Group (CSG).
  4. The LOKPAL & Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will not be merged or intra-connected while CSG want LOKPAL & anti-corruption wing of the CBI will be one independent body.
  5. Penalization for the corruption will be a minimum of 6 months & maximum of upto 7 years whereas in CSG's case minimum of 5 years & maximum of upto life imprisonment.
  6. Prime Minister & Judiciary will have to come under the ambit of LOKPAL, as demanded by CSG.
Well apart from the last point, almost all other points mentioned above have been successfully cleared or are in the pipe line for the clarification. But the last clause which makes Mr. PM & Judiciary under the Umbrella is little bit tricky one. Though in democracy every administrative, legislative, executive & judiciary body should be under the ambit of transparency but in India there is minute difference. We elect our government but we do not have any power to scrutinize the work of our Prime Minister or any other ministers in their incumbency; the only power we have is the 'Voting Power' (after 5 years). Enacting a Right to Recall Bill which will put a pressure on elected representative (by putting elected representative on notice) : Either perform or perish. Now if we talk on the last point dispute, whether PMO (Prime Minister Office) should come under the ambit of LOKPAL... In my opinion it should be. Prime Minister should not fear anyone & itself has to come out & say "Yes, I am the representative of you all & I will put myself under the scanner of Lokpal." This is Mr. Prime Minister's moral duty. We, all are waiting for your answer Mr. Prime Minister Sir.

Now, about whether Judiciary should come under the umbrella of Ombudsman (Lokpal) or not?? Government already initiated a bill of Judicial Standards and Accountability which deals with the malpractices, corruption & negligence of Judges. Government will introduce that bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session. So, there is no need of stretching the Lokpal's ambit onto Judiciary. Supreme Court is guardian of the constitution & the highest court of appeal. To put judiciary under Lokpal will demoralize the constitution norms. Supreme court of India has been vested with the power of Judicial Review. Is Lokpal  bigger than Supreme Court? The answer is 'NO' & will never become. To put judiciary beneath the Lokpal is a redundant idea!!

Why our government is running with snail's pace for drafting a Lokpal bill ? The answer lies in the government's intention. Government should not loose this opportunity as they  are already facing some tough allegations of corruption. If they want to improve their gruesome image & also wanna to win the next 2014-election with clear majority then they should enact the proposed Lokpal bill in the next Monsoon session. For the opposition parties & other allied parties, they should force & poke the government to comply the same. We do not want a toothless Lokpal... we need a Lokpal which comprises of some specific characteristic.

In this article, I will not characterize any specific person or group or anyone, what I am trying to convey with my article to all our civilians that 'Corruption lies in our inner self.' Be Honest... Be Wise... Be Bold!!
If anybody demands bribe from you, please do not give!!

I, also wanna to urge to our Prime Minister, "Sir, we see you as our role model. Please do not break our belief over you. You are a wise man, do not fear of anything. Just push for the best & save us from this mounting corruption. I know you have immense work load & pressure but we want a corrupt-free INDIA.
(Hope you will listen to us....)


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