Anna’s Version of LOKPAL Bill
Although the recommendation’s by Anna’s activists may appear to be a cure for corruption – but the questions are also being raised about the impracticalities for few things:
- The Lokpal should have an independent administrative machinery of its own. This will require at least 15,000 officials to implement. The team hasn’t spelt out from where such an army will be raised. The government says implementation of this idea may need up to 30,000 new staff
- The Jan Lokpal bill proposed by Team Anna provides for empowering officials down to the taluka level to carry out seizure and search operations, tap phones even file charge sheets in trial courts… They have also demanded police powers for Lokpal Officers
- The Lokpal should be allowed to probe corruption allegations against judges of the Supreme Court and high courts. This has been opposed by other civil society groups and the government. Ministers on the joint drafting panel say this can’t work since the judiciary itself would be involved in the appointment of Lokpal members and the cases investigated by the Lokpal would be put to trial before the judges.
- The chairman and members of the 11-member Lokpal, once appointed to the anti-graft ombudsmen, won’t be eligible to contest an election throughout their lives.
- The CVC and the CBI should be merged with the Lokpal. It should have the powers of contempt and imposition of financial penalties to seek compliance of its orders.
- If allegations are substantiated after a probe, the Lokpal should be empowered to recommend the removal of a union minister, except the Prime Minister
- Lokpal should be given the responsibility for providing protection to whistleblowers – (a bill to protect whistleblowers is already before the parliament and a parliamentary committee has already given its report on the bill)