Sunday, February 27, 2011

Anna's Clarion Call to root out corruption

Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc New Delhi
Lokpal Bill examining anti-corruption mechanism and Anna Hazare Sends an Ultimatum to PM for for growing menace of corruption in high places scams unfolding every week needs to be counter checked with right bill proper enactment of law and policy with-its adequate application and in this context address the Media Demanding enactment of a strong anti-corruption law on the lines of Jan Lokpal Bill:

Anna Hazare has given an ultimatum to the Prime Minister If the Prime Minister does not act decisively by the end of March, he will undertake an indefinite fast from 5th April at Jantar Mantar. People with Anna Hazare are Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, Kiran Bedi, Arch Bishop Vincent M Concessao, Mufti Shamoon Qasmi, Arvind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh,Sunita Godara, Devinder Sharma, Kamal Jaswal of Common Cause, Pradeep Gupta representing PAN IIT etc. Jan Lokpal Bill, drafted by Prashant Bhushan, Justice Santosh Hegde and Arvind Kejriwal and supported by Lyngdoh, Shanti Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and many others prescribes swift, certain and harsh punishment for the corrupt.

But PM has not even acknowledged the letter. All people mentioned above together as “India Against Corruption (IAC)” demanding enactment of Jan Lokpal Bill held rallies on 30th January in 62 cities across the country. A committee set up by the government to give more teeth to the Lokpal Bill is examining the anti-corruption mechanism under which even the prime minister will be open to scrutiny.The Committee of Secretaries on Lokpal Bill, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, met here recently to consider suggestions to provide more teeth to the proposed legislation.The meeting considered suggestions by private individuals and NGOs to make the mechanism more effective.

IAC members have met leaders from many political parties. D Raja, A B Bardhan, Sushma Swaraj and Chandrababu Naidu have supported the Jan Lokpal Bill. Prakash Karat, L K Advani, Moily, Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee, Sharad Yadav, Hamid Ansari and Meira Kumar said they would study the Bill. In two meetings held with him, Dr Kalam has been requested to lead the anti-corruption movement. He said he will read the contents of Jan Lokpal Bill and revert. Efforts to meet the PM and Sonia Gandhi failed. However, responding to one of the letters, Mrs Gandhi has informed that she was getting the matter examined.

The Government had drafted a Lokpal Bill in January, which was widely criticized. Subsequently, the Government set up Committee of Secretaries to strengthen that Bill. According to a PTI report, all the objections raised by IAC against Government’s draft appear to have been referred to the COS by the Government.

However, talking on behalf of IAC, Anna trashed COS as mere eyewash. The GOM, set up to suggest ways to tackle corruption consist of some ministers who have had a very corrupt past. How can you expect anti-corruption measures from them?
One of the criticism is that the 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 public will make complaints to the Speaker of Lok Sabha or Chairperson of Rajya Sabha. Complaints forwarded by Speaker of Lok Sabha or Chairperson of Rajya Sabha to Lokpal would be investigated by Lokpal.This, some feel, will severely restrict the functioning of the Lokpal. Some NGOs have also objected to the restriction of the three-member panel of Lokpal to retired judges and they want eminent people from other walks of life to be part of the Lokpal panel.The government is keen on giving a "final shape" to the Bill in the coming days

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