Monday, August 22, 2011

Lokpal and me

Thousands are taking to the streets to support the anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare. Though I am not sure if the fast is against corruption ( it is in a way) or to get the Jan Lokpal version of the bill passed in the parliament. I hope it is the 1st one. However the idea of a fast has not convinced me fully. I guess they should have confronted the parliamentary standing committee. It is true that every person is entitled to the right of protesting freely and peacefully. But at the same time setting deadlines to a freely elected parliament doesn’t seem justified. Moreover, there is a growing feeling that the demand of Anna Hazare is that only his version of the bill get passed and there is nothing doing about it.

It seems like all the nation is taking to streets in support against corruption. However Karan Thapar in his interview says that not even one crore people are out on streets. Even the number on which one is supposed to give a missed call has received 1.3 crore missed calls till date according to the India against Corruption website. So is the movement truly representing India? At this point I would like to say that like everyone else I too am against corruption but at the same time I am against the means of the protest and taking parliament for a ride. Readers would interpret this as if I am talking big and doing nothing on the ground. Yet these are some of the genuine questions that arise in my mind.

Now I shall talk of the bills as I see them. Though I am not a law or constitutional expert I thought of going through the drafts myself before forming any opinion. As said by many the government draft is really dismal. It should rightly be thrown out. It seems like is against the one is complaining and not anti corruption. I wonder how the distinguished lawyers in the government managed to have certain provisions which are not appropriate. This is the view I have formed when I have not gone through the draft in its entirety. However I went through all of Jan Lokpal bill and it is very good indeed. Is has a investigation wing, a sort of a court and it can sentence. There are people opposing this but I really don’t know how it makes a difference. I guess my lack of knowledge in CrPC and the IPC is the reason. At the same time I don’t think we should bring the higher Judiciary under the Lokpal. I guess a judicial accountability bill would be the best to deal with it. Also we need to establish the national judicial commission. This seems to be the view of many former Judges of the honourable Supreme Court as well. The second issue is that of the PM. My personal view is the PM and the PMO should be under the lokpal. However stringent checks should be there so that there are no frivolous complaints. The view of the experts seems to be divided on this issue.

Another issue that seems important to me is that of the behaviour of the MPs inside the houses of the Parliament. The jan lokpal bill includes the behaviour of MPs inside the house as well. I guess the MPs have been given privileges by the constitution. However they have not been codified as yet and MPs enjoy the same privileges as that of the members’ House of Commons in England. According to me the MPs should be allowed the privileges inside the house. However any misconduct outside the house should be punished. This should include taking bribes outside for asking questions etc. This sums up the views I have on the Jan Lokpal bill.

But now there seems to be another draft coming up which is prepared by the NCPRI. The government and all the experts in this country should get together to take all views and opinions into account and bring a strong Lokpal in our country. Well I guess that is the end to this longish post. Next I have to give my views on corruption.

At the end I hope that the veteran actor Shammi Kapoor who passed away recently rests in Peace.

1 comment:

  1. The struggle against corruption is important but inefficient since it looks at corruption in isolation from primitive accumulation. A powerful popular approach against primitive accumulation alone can provide a bulwark for democracy.