- investigate cases falling under the Prevention of Corruption Act, offences committed by the civil servants,
- include CBI in lokpal,
- include all the government officials, judges and MPs,
- ensure protection to whistle blowers,
- address the grievances of the citizens, and
- seek immediate and justified result.
It proposes amendments in the old lokpal bill . Contrary to this,Government bill includes PM,NGOs, senior (grade A) officials leaving judges and other government officials. It does not ensure any protection to whistle blowers. There is no provision to include CBI to merge with lokpal while investigating cases.As per the bill presented by the government, lokpal has only the power to refer caseS to the courts and not grant punishments on its own.
These are just few of the differences…there are many more. When we take a look at the bill from government’s perspective, we get to know that the bill they want to pass means setting up of an institution in which officials will be appointed by them-officials who will always remain at the mercy of the ministers. This is the present condition of all investigating agencies.The government is putting powers in the lokpal whose hands are tied. Is the government trying to set up a paralyzed body to counter such baneful corruption? Is the government establishing another useless investigating body which will give rise to mounting expenditure and end up doing nothing?
The 1st lokpal bill was passed in 1968 incurring total expenditure of 3lakh. Since then the bill has been passed several times but without any success. The expenses mounted to 1700 crores in 2011 and finally total expenditure in 2012 session was 2000 crore. The facts speak for themselves. More than 50 years have passed and immeasurable amount has been wasted. Irony is that the whole expenditure has been charged at the cost of the common man. Why has the bill not been passed till date-is a big question before us?
Recently assurance came from Sonia Gandhi that a strong bill will be passed in the budget session of the parliament. Questions are already being raised regarding the intentions of the government. Is the government serious to pass the bill or is it again a waste of time and money? Is this assurance similar to the previous assurances that kept coming from the government for the past 2 years. Isn’t is better not to have the bill rather than putting power in the corrupt hands??
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.