Mrs Sonia Gandhi Chairperson UPA 10 Janpath, New Delhi 110001 6th July 2012 Dear Mrs.

Gandhi, As you know, the last year has been dominated by discussions on transparency, accountability and anti – corruption legislation. Unfortunately, the Lokpal controversy has held up the passage of some other important, non controversial legislations which would immediately alleviate sufferings of millions of Indians. Despite RTI users and activists being attacked and even killed at regular intervals, the whistleblower protection bill remains stuck in the Rajya Sabha, after having been passed by the Lok Sabha. Most of the frustration and daily suffering faced by ordinary Indians is because of the lack of effective service delivery and grievance redress mechanisms. A fairly good draft bill was presented in parliament and sent to the Standing Committee for comments. The Standing Committee had promised to hold hearings on an urgent basis and present their recommendations to Parliament. This is in many ways a necessary compliment to the Right to Information legislation which would help take India from transparency towards accountability. Many of us have already testified before the Standing Committee and offered our suggestions. We now hope that this issue will be afforded immediate priority and this most important piece of legislation be brought to parliament for passage in the monsoon session. This is even more crucial because many of the social sector legislations and flagship programmes are suffering because of the lack of effective grievance redress mechanisms. For instance the grievance redress mechanism suggested in the Right to Food Bill has reportedly been removed in anticipation of the passage of the generic grievance redress law. While the other related legislations such as the Lokpal Bill and Judicial Accountability Bill are also important, they are more disputed and controversial. Therefore, government would need to build a consensus on these legislations.

However, not passing the Whistleblower Protection Bill and the Grievance Redress Bill on an urgent basis only conveys the impression that the government is not at all serious about issues of accountability and corruption. We hope the UPA government will immediately ensure the passage of these two potentially landmark legislations while building a consensus on the other anti – corruption legislations under consideration.

With warm regards, Yours Sincerely,

Aruna Roy

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