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Our view Issue Prime Minister

Governments view

Comments

Lokpal should have PM kept out of power to investigate Lokpals purview. allegations of corruption against PM. Special safeguards provided against frivolous and mischievous complaints Lokpal should have powers to investigate allegation of corruption against judiciary. Special safeguards provided against frivolous and mischievous complaints

Judiciary

MPs

Lokpal should be able to investigate allegations that any MP had taken bribe to vote or speak in Parliament.

Grievance redressal

CBI

Violation of citizens charter (if an officer does not do a citizens work in prescribed time) by an officer should be penalized and should be deemed to be corruption. Anti-corruption branch Government wants to CBI is misused by governments. of CBI should be retain its hold over Recently, govt has taken CBI merged into Lokpal. CBI. out of RTI, thus further

As of today, corruption by PM can be investigated under Prevention of Corruption Act. Government wants investigations to be done by CBI, which comes directly under him, rather than independent Lokpal Judiciary kept out of Government wants this to be Lokpal purview. included in Judicial Accountability Bill (JAB). Under JAB, permission to enquire against a judge will be given by a three member committee (two judges from the same court and retd Chief justice of the same court). There are many such flaws in JAB. We have no objections to judiciary being included in JAB if a strong and effective JAB were considered and it were enacted simultaneously. Government has Taking bribe to vote or speak in excluded this from Parliament strikes at the Lokpals purview. foundations of our democracy. Governments refusal to bring it under Lokpal scrutiny virtually gives a license to MPs to take bribes with impunity. No penalties Government had agreed to our proposed. So, this will demand in the Joint committee remain only on paper. meeting on 23rd May. It is unfortunate they have gone back on this decision.

Selection of Lokpal members

increasing the scope for corruption in CBI. CBI will remain corrupt till it remains under governments control 1. Broad based selection 1. With five out of ten Governments proposal ensures committee with 2 members from ruling that the government will be able politicians, four judges establishment and six to appoint its own people as and two independent politicians in selection Lokpal members and constitutional committee, Chairperson. Interestingly, they authorities. government has had agreed to the selection ensured that only committee proposed by us in the 2. An independent weak, dishonest and meeting held on 7th May. There pliable people would was also a broad consensus on search committee be selected. selection process. However, consisting of retd there was a disagreement on constitutional authorities to prepare 2. Search committee composition of search committee. We are surprised to be selected by first list. selection committee, that they have gone back on the 3. A detailed transparent thus making them a decision. pawn of selection and participatory committee selection process. 3. No selection process provided. It will completely depend on selection committee To the people. A citizen To the Government. can make a complaint to Only government can Supreme Court and seek seek removal of removal. Lokpal

Who will Lokpal be accountable to?

Integrity of Lokpal staff

Method of enquiry

With selection and removal of Lokpal in governments control, it would virtually be a puppet in governments hands, against whose seniormost functionaries it is supposed to investigate, thus causing serious conflict of interest. Complaint against Lokpal itself will Governments proposal creates a Lokpal staff will be investigate complaints Lokpal, which is accountable heard by an independent against its own staff, either to itself or to the authority thus creating serious government. We have suggested conflicts of interest giving these controls in the hands of the citizens. Method would be the CrPC being amended. Investigation process provided same as provided in Special protection by the government would CrPC like in any other being provided to the severely compromise all criminal case. After accused. After investigations. If evidence were preliminary enquiry, an preliminary enquiry, made available to the accused at

all evidence will be various stages of investigations, provided to the in addition to compromising the accused and he shall investigations, it would also be heard as to why an reveal the identity of FIR should not be whistleblowers thus regd against him. compromising their security. After completion of Such a process is unheard of in investigations, again criminal jurisprudence anywhere all evidence will be in the world. Such process provided to him and would kill almost every case. he will be given a hearing to explain why a case should not be filed against him in the court. During investigations, if investigations are to be started against any new persons, they would also be presented with all evidence against them and heard. All those defined as Only Group A officers One fails to understand Lower will be covered. governments stiff resistance bureaucracy public servants in Prevention of against bringing lower Corruption Act would bureaucracy under Lokpals be covered. This ambit. This appears to be an includes lower excuse to retain control over bureaucracy. CBI because if all public servants are brought under Lokpals jurisdiction, government would have no excuse to keep CBI. The same bill should Only Lokpal at the According to Mr Pranab Lokayukta provide for Lokpal at centre would be Mukherjee, some of the CMs centre and Lokayuktas created through this have objected to providing in states Bill. Lokayuktas through the same Bill. He was reminded that state Information Commissions were also set up under RTI Act through one Act only. According to govt, protection Whistleblower Lokpal will be required No mention in this to provide protection to law. for whistleblowers is being protection whistleblowers, provided through a separate law. witnesses and victims of But that law is so bad that it has

FIR will be registered. After investigations, case will be presented before a court, where the trial will take place

corruption

High Courts will set up Special benches in HC special benches to hear appeals in corruption cases to fast track them On the basis of past CrPC experience on why anticorruption cases take a long time in courts and why do our agencies lose them, some amendments to CrPC have been suggested to prevent frequent stay orders. Dismissal of After completion of investigations, in corrupt government addition to filing a case in a court for servant prosecution, a bench of Lokpal will hold open hearings and decide whether to remove the government servant from job.

No such provision.

been badly trashed by standing committee of Parliament last month. The committee was headed by Ms Jayanthi Natrajan. In the Jt committee meeting held on 23rd May, it was agreed that Lokpal would be given the duty of providing protection to whistleblowers under the other law and that law would also be discussed and improved in joint committee only. However, it did not happen. One study shows that it takes 25 years at appellate stage in corruption cases. This ought to be addressed.

Not included

The minister will Power of removing corrupt decide whether to people from jobs should be remove a corrupt given to independent Lokpal officer or not. Often, rather than this being decided by they are beneficiaries the minister in the same of corruption, department. especially when senior officer are involved. Experience shows that rather than removing corrupt people, ministers have rewarded them. None of these Punishment 1. Maximum for corruption punishment is ten years accepted. Only maximum punishment 2. Higher punishment if raised to 10 years. rank of accused is

higher 3. Higher fines if accused are business entities 4. If successfully convicted, a business entity should be blacklisted from future contracts. Lokpal 11 members Finance ministry will Financial collectively will decide decide the quantum of independence how much budget do budget they need Lokpal will have a duty No such duties and Prevent to take steps to prevent powers of Lokpal further loss corruption in any ongoing activity, if brought to his notice. If need be, Lokpal will obtain orders from High Court. Lokpal bench will grant Home Secretary Tap phones permission to do so would grant permission.

This seriously compromises with the financial independence of Lokpal 2G is believed to have come to knowledge while the process was going on. Shouldnt some agency have a duty to take steps to stop further corruption rather than just punish people later?

Home Secretary is under the control of precisely those who would be under scanner. It would kill investigations. Delegation of Lokpal members will All work will be done This is a sure way to kill Lokpal. only hear cases against by 11 members of The members will not be able to powers senior officers and Lokpal. Practically no handle all cases. Within no time, politicians or cases delegation. they would be overwhelmed. involving huge amounts. Rest of the work will be done by officers working under Lokpal Only government All NGOs, big or A method to arm twist NGOs NGOs funded NGOs covered small, are covered. No imprisonment. Only Two to five years of This will give a handle to every False, accused to browbeat Frivolous and fines on complainants. imprisonment and Lokpal would decide fine. The accused can complainants. Often corrupt vexatious whether a complaint is file complaint against people are rich. They will file complaints frivolous or vexatious complainant in a cases against complainants and or false. court. Interestingly, no one will dare file any prosecutor and all complaint. Interestingly, expenses of this case minimum punishment for

will be provided by corruption is six months but for the government to the filing false complaint is two accused. The years. complainant will also have to pay a compensation to the accused.