‘Needed: a single, empowered Lokpal to fight corruption’

Vidya Subrahmaniam in THE HINDU

Santosh Hedge, Prashant Bhushan have drafted alternative bill

Existing system “flawed,” the probe being divided among multiple, ineffective agencies

Draft aims to bring whistleblower protection within Lokpal ambit

New Delhi: Santosh Hedge, Lokayukta of Karnataka, and Prashant Bhushan, Supreme Court lawyer, have drafted an alternative Lokpal bill — there have been several official versions — with the aim of replacing the existing, mutually exclusive anti-corruption agencies with a single, autonomous apex body empowered to investigate and prosecute politicians, bureaucrats and judges.

The draft bill also aims to bring whistleblower protection, currently in the form of a separate bill, within the ambit of the Lokpal.

The draft bill, recently released to the media by the non-profitable NGO, Parivartan India, has been sent to the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India. In identical letters, dated December 1, to Manmohan Singh and Justice S.H. Kapadia, Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan and other signatories described the existing system of investigating corruption as deeply flawed what with the task being divided among multiple, ineffective agencies.

The letters pointed out that while the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) were independent, they were rendered toothless, being advisory bodies that were invariably overruled by the government in power. On the other hand, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was dependent on the government for permission to investigate and prosecute. The CBI lawyers were appointed by the Law Ministry and they reported to it. This explained the demand for Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the 2G spectrum scam.

The letters said this led to a situation where the “high and mighty” never got punished while the poor were harassed for petty crime in police stations. “In view of this state of affairs, we need a total overhaul of the anti-corruption delivery system,” the signatories said.

The draft bill proposes a single, autonomous Lokpal combining within it the powers and mandate of the CBI and the CVC and with jurisdiction over politicians, bureaucrats and judges. Besides being able to independently initiate investigation and prosecution without prior permission from any other agency, the body will act as an appellate authority in respect of public grievances linked to bribery.

The whistleblowers, currently under the supervision of the CVC, will also come under the protective purview of the Lokpal. The members and the chairperson of the Lokpal, 11 in all, will be selected by a transparent and participatory process and any complaint of wrongdoing against a member will be required by law to be investigated and acted upon within a month through a transparent process. In the event that the charges are upheld, the loss to the exchequer by the officer’s wrongdoing will be recovered.

Explaining why whistleblowers were brought under the draft bill, Mr. Kejriwal said they mostly reported political corruption. “But because they are under the CVC, which has no jurisdiction over politicians, they have no effective protection and many of them live in danger. The draft bill aims to rectify this unfortunate situation.”


One Comment

  1. What is the vital factors and how we can fix it?
    The vital factors are described above through the fish bone diagram. How we can fix these problems?
    Generally government has to take care of all our needs and stop to circulate the currencies. Instead of currencies the accounts are should be maintained in UID card. The UID card should not be only a Citizenship card but it should also used for our account details, personal details, personal belongings, wealth information, business details, income, properties, family details, health issues etc.,. by Transparency Accounting

    Now we can fix the problem through the improvising
    • Every citizen should have bank account
    • The card should distribute through BANK
    • The account should be visualizing by government and reserve bank
    • Every transaction is accountable, even for properties, small match box / pin purchasing
    • Tax and account details of the public should be maintained by bank through Auto accounting system and the information will be cross check and stores in database, taxes are detect auto by auto tax system.
    • Financial plan and advice are issued by bank
    • The transaction between the seller and buyer should be monitored and the product information should stores in database. If the product is expiring the date, information will be notice to buyer /seller by Auto information system. From that we will control the duplicate and expiry product selling in the market.
    • The taxes are automatically transferred to government for every transaction made by seller and buyer.
    • No accounts should be maintained by public and that should be done by bank.
    • Every month the transaction made by public that should posted to detailed to his house
    • Even the school children transaction also monitored
    • The family member can comes to know, for what purpose the money is transferred from members accounts to others.
    • We can control the illegal activities of the family members.
    • By bank accounts we can find how the money was earned by the public.
    • Now government has to announce that every public has to declare their belongings, properties, bank balance, ornaments, investments, etc.,.
    • That declaration made by public and that should be registered in their name.
    • The public cannot be sold out others properties, ornaments, belongings, and illegal transferring the amount without the permission by the registered user.
    • We can easily caught the thieves, robbers, frauds, cheaters, smugglers,
    • The registered belongings cannot be sold until the user has to give permission
    • For example, if the thieves snatching the chain and taken to market to sell; now the shopkeepers will verify the card of the thief and it was not registered then the shopkeeper will inform to police. Like that we can solve many problems.
    • If the public wants loan for their needs, then the public can get loans from others and that should be detected from their account automatically to the loan issuer with interest. It should be transferred to loan issuer account. Here we can control the cheatings.
    • Government has to stop the issuing the currencies.
    • The fake and duplicate products are easily identified.
    • Medical information about the citizen including the DNA, Master Health report, Treatment issues for disease. The collective information can reduce the time for emergency treatment issue and we can maintain our health through Professional doctor. In Uid card the health information has been saved. Bio metric information also stored and the corresponding random number has generated for the finger print. The number and fingerprint has to use for verification in transactions , purchasing, product selling, development, etc.,
    • We can find the product, which was made by our country.
    • We can monitor the product, which was imported from other country.
    • Advance Mobile device can be use for transaction as well as Mobile phone by public.
    • We can control the foreign visitors by collecting the information and issuing the visitor card to them.
    • If the visitor is continuously monitor for visa status , purpose of visit, etc.,
    • Once the visa period comes to end automatic information system will inform to the visitor, their embassy in our country, no transaction will made in our country to them. The card will display the information and easily we can trace the person where is he currently located. Ask them to skip our country immediately
    • We can control the terrorism by continuously monitoring every visitor.
    • We can prove that our country is developed country in the world

    With Regards

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