What is Lokpal Bill and what does this mean to a common Indian ?
Lokpal Bill and Jan Lokpal Bill
Lokpal bill at the current state has lots of loopholes and does not serves the purpose. The Lokpal cannot, under the proposed Bill, investigate any case against the Prime Minister in the arena of external affairs and defence. As a part of this movement, N. Santosh Hegde, a former justice of the Supreme Court of India, Prashant Bhushan, a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court along with the members of the India Against Corruption movement drafted an alternate bill, named as the Jan Lokpal Bill. We need to get this bill passed and implemented with all the loopholes closed, independent from Politicians and bureaucrats, like the Supreme Court of India. This movement from a person like Anna Hazare should be supported by each and every citizen of India and compel the responsible people to take an accepted decision at the earliest.
History of Lokpal Bill
This bill has taken 40 years, still not passed by our elected representatives. We had different government in power, but none wanted this to come up as this would be the biggest hurdle for the corrupt politicians. India has changed, the young India, wants a clean India and will do anything and everything to get this done.
- The Lokpal bill is an outcome of the findings of the Santhanam Committee for the Prevention of Corruption in 1966.
- Every political party has included the Lokpal bill issue in their election manifesto, but none has implemented it.
- In 2004 our current Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh had promised on this issue, but still nothing has happened.
We have been hearing about many scams like the common wealth games scam, IPL scam, 2G Scam, etc. What is being done against he people who are responsible for these scams? We hear crores involved in these scams, are these money coming back? Most of these criminals get strong legal experts, find loopholes and escapes. We no longer want to have this going on and we need a clean India.
What are the loopholes of the Lokpal Bill by the Government
According to the current version of Lokpal Bill, Lokpal will not have any power to either initiate action suo motu in any case or even receive complaints of corruption from public. This is making the Lokpal bill useless. But according to the Jan Lokpal Bill, full powers to initiate investigations suo motu in any case and also to directly entertain complaints from the public. This is something very important and needs to be addressed by the Government and we see most of the political parties finding this as a threat to them. The Government proposed Lokpal bill does wants the Lokpal to be advisory body and just forward the complaints to the recepective department and does not have any right to register and FIR or police powers. This bill not give power to the Lokpal to do any investigation against the Prime Minister, which deals with foreign affairs, security and defence and also no jurisdiction over bureaucrats and government officers. These are the major lacking of the current version with the Government, but we need a Jan Lokpal bill which is addressing the above mentioned issues. Do support for this bill and try your best to force the Government to do it for us. We are the people who have put them on to rule the country and they will have to do it for us.
Update : April 6, 2011, 3:26 am
Anna Hazare is on a fast to death strike for getting the Government to act. The Government of India should call the leader for discussion and start working on this. I do agree, its not something that can be done overnight, but it’s pitty to hear that Anna Hazare had written several times to the responsible Prime Minister of India and never got a reply. So the Gandhian has taken his path of showing his protest.
Update : April 6, 2011, 5:38 am
Flaw of current Lokpal Bill
Lokpal will not have any power to either initiate action suo motu in any case or even receive complaints of corruption from general public. The general public will make complaints to the speaker of Lok Sabha or chairperson of Rajya Sabha. Only those complaints forwarded by Speaker of Lok Sabha/Chairperson of Rajya Sabha to Lokpal would be investigated by Lokpal. This not only severely restricts the functioning of Lokpal, it also provides a tool in the hands of the ruling party to have only those cases referred to Lokpal which pertain to political opponents (since speaker is always from the ruling party).
Update : April 7, 2011, 2:44 am
Stunning Letting sent by Anna Hazare to the Prime Minister of India
Dear Dr. Singh,
I have started my indefinite fast at Jantar mantar. I had invited you also to fast and pray for a corruption free India on 5th April. Though I did not receive any reply from you, I am hopeful that you must have done that. I am pained to read and hear about government’s reaction to my fast. I consider it my duty to clarify the points raised on behalf of Congress party and the government by their spokespersons, as they appear in media:
1. It is being alleged that I am being instigated by some people to sit on this fast. Dear Manmohan Singh ji, this is an insult to my sense of wisdom and intelligence. I am not a kid that I could be “instigated” into going on an indefinite fast. I am a fiercely independent person. I take advice from many friends and critics, but do what my conscience directs me to do. It is my experience that when cornered, governments resort to such malicious slandering. I am pained that the government, rather than addressing the issue of corruption, is trying to allege conspiracies, when there are none.
2. It is being said that I have shown impatience. Dear Prime Minister, so far, every government has shown complete insensitivity and lack of political commitment to tackling corruption. 62 years after independence, we still do not have independent and effective anti?corruption systems. Very weak versions of Lokpal Bill were presented in Parliament eight times in last 42 years. Even these weak versions were not passed by Parliament. This means, left to themselves, the politicians and bureaucrats will never pass any law which subjects them to any kind of objective scrutiny. At a time, when the country has witnessed scams of unprecedented scale, the impatience of the entire country is justified. And we call upon you, not to look for precedents, but show courage to take unprecedented steps.
3. It is being said that I have shown impatience when the government has “initiated” the process. I would urge you to tell me – exactly what processes are underway? a. You say that your Group of Ministers are drafting the anti?corruption law. Many of the members of this Group of Ministers have such a shady past that if effective anticorruption systems had been in place, some of them would have been behind bars. Do you want us to have faith in a process in which some of the most corrupt people of this country should draft the anti?corruption law? b. NAC sub?committee has discussed Jan Lokpal Bill. But what does that actually mean? Will the government accept the recommendations of NAC sub?committee? So far, UPA II has shown complete contempt for even the most innocuous issues raised by NAC. c. I and many other friends from India Against Corruption movement wrote several letters to you after 1st December. I also sent you a copy of Jan Lokpal Bill on 1st December. We did not get any response. It is only when I wrote to you that I will sit on an indefinite fast, we were promptly invited for discussions on 7th March. I wonder whether the government responds only to threats of indefinite fast. Before that, representatives of India Against Corruption had been meeting various Ministers seeking their support for the Jan Lokpal Bill. They met Mr Moily also and personally handed over copy of Jan Lokpal to him. A few hoursbefore our meeting with you, we received a phone call from Mr Moily’s office that the copy of Jan Lokpal Bill had been misplaced by his office and they wanted another copy. This is the seriousness with which the government has dealt with Jan Lokpal Bill. d. Dear Dr Manmohan Singh ji, if you were in my place, would you have any faith in the aforesaid processes? Kindly let me know if there are any other processes underway. If you still feel that I am impatient, I am happy that I am because the whole nation is feeling impatient at the lack of credible efforts from your government against corruption.
4. What are we asking for? We are not saying that you should accept the Bill drafted by us. But kindly create a credible platform for discussions – a joint committee with at least half members from civil society suggested by us. Your spokespersons are misleading the nation when they say that there is no precedent for setting up a joint committee. At least seven laws in Maharashtra were drafted by similar joint committees and presented in Maharashtra Assembly. Maharashtra RTI Act, one of the best laws of those times, was drafted by a joint committee. Even at the centre, when 25,000 tribals came to Delhi two years ago, your government set up a joint committee on land issues within 48 hours. You yourself are the Chairperson of that committee. This means that the government is willing to set up joint committees on all other issues, but not on corruption. Why?
5. It is being said that the government wants to talk to us and we are not talking to them. This is utterly false. Tell me a single meeting when you called us and we did not come. We strongly believe in dialogue and engagement. Kindly do not mislead the country by saying that we are shunning dialogue. We request you to take some credible steps at stemming corruption. Kindly stop finding faults and suspecting conspiracies in our movement. There are none. Even if there were, it does not absolve you of your responsibilities to stop corruption.
With warm regards,
K B Hazare
Update : April 7, 2011, 2:48 am
Amir Khan’s Letter to Dr Manmohan Singh on the Lokpal Bill issue Amir Khan’s Letter to PM
Update : April 7, 2011, 2:54 am
Anna Hazare do not want any politicians to come near his stage. You know that every political party wants to take credit of any dam thing. Shameless Uma Bharthi and Om Prakash Choutala came to meet Anna and tried to show their support to them. How shameless are these politicians, are the citizens of India so dumb that they do not understand what these corrupt politicians are doing? These politicians were almost kicked away from the fasting location by the supporters of Anna – Shame Shame – No more politicians should try to come near anna and try to take any credit
Update : April 8, 2011, 3:57 am
Talks with the Government failed on two points. One is the chairmanship and the other is on the notification. The most impressive fact of this agitation is that there is no compromise on these two points.
Kejriwal said to the Media, that we are not fighting against the Government, we want a corruption free India and thereisnothing to compromise on this. We see every Indian citizen want this to be done and most of the political party who are not in power are also taking this positively.
I am sure this will happen very soon. My appeal to the people of India is that today we have IPL matches starting, don’t forget about our country, continue your support to this great movement, we need to fight till be get this bill implemented.
Picture of Anna Hazare Movement
Anna Hazare Fasting until death at Janthar Manthar
Kiran bedi with Anna
The protest is not just in Delhi, people are showing their support around the country and even outside India. This shows how much people of India are desperate and they wanted somebody to give a start.
Update : April 8, 2011, 3:24 pm
The Government has agreed to 100% of the demand from Anna Hazare. Hopefully the fasting should end tonight. Congrats Anna and the people of India who made this happen