THE PROPOSED JAN LOKPAL BILL A popular publication very recently refers to the Corruptions prevailing in India and describes India as – “A Rotten State” according to the Corruption Perception Index of the International Transparency puts India at No. 87 out of 178 countries there in the world. India has the distinction of topping the list for the black money in the entire world with about $1.4 Trillions shifted and siphoned into Swiss Banks with a view to safeguard and protect the wealth generated by illegal means under the influence of Corruption.
It is therefore a drastic measure is now required to curb the spiralling and spreading corruption and this can be made possible by THE JAN LOKPAL BILL. This Bill is an honest effort to remove the Corruption, it seeks to establish a strong JAN LOKPAL as the Chairperson with 10 other members with comprehensive powers to allow them to initiate inquiries against complaints, conduct investigations against the complaints received and order the prosecution against all those who are involved in the Corruption.
While taking the task into action, the basic structure and the Provision of the Constitution are to be considered and a clear division of powers and responsibilities between the Executives, the Legislatures and the Judiciaries is one of the Fundamental Feature of the Constitution which cannot be ignored and therefore needs to be explained and elaborated.
The Judiciary, for all its flaws, remains as one of the strongest pillars of the democracy- we may call it as a situation by default and any attempt to tamper with its independence needs to be restricted and resisted. The JAN LOKPAL BILL includes judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Courts in its definition of “public servants” and therefore seeks to bring them within the purview of the Bill. We do not have any doubts that corruption within the judiciary must not be condoned, after all in leads to the same cheating and fraud and amounts to same effect as that for other crooks and moreover we cannot expect our judiciary to be run by crooks. We are therefore find a mechanism – to come over the situation and remove the corruption and establish a corruption free state or lead towards it which in turn will gradually remove corruption.
The Bill proposes to take the Prime Minister within the purview of the Bill specially referring to instances of Corruption which showed dereliction, believe me it isn’t collusion. It is just a proposition to have an ombudsman who can take the Prime Minister also within his investigation and the prosecution process.
In any case, the suggestion that the Government proposes in the Bill – that the Lokpal must not inquire into any allegation or the complaint against the Prime Minister as it is related to the matters of National Security, National Defence and or Foreign Relations. What I feel here is that we can at least have the definition of the work mentioned in the plan which we expect to be listed before commencement of work which reveals the work, the duration, the time frame, the responsible person and the accountability and answerable person. This part may focus matters of National Security/Defence or Foreign Relations.
As far as the Bill is concerned we must be absolutely careful towards the institutions that are doing reasonably well should not get damaged. The Bill proposes that the Investigation Wing of the CBI which already deals with the offences committed under the PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT, be now be made to enacted and executed by the Jan Lokpal the ombudsman now being responsible and accountable for the Corruption.
If the Jan Lokpal needs to carry on with certain investigation and shall need an investigation wing which the CBI does, may now be made to execute by the Lokpal. The Bill proposes to build the team of officers on deputation from states or even the CBI instead of dismantling an effective and functioning wing of the CBI. The Lokpal would also absorb the CVC and its entire vigilance machineries which seem to be difficult as it would require an amendment of the Constitution and the CVC Act will have to be repealed.
The Bill seeks and wants to raise a structure to deal with corruption but also to redress the “grievances” which as on now meant to claim of a person who gets affected and needs satisfaction as per the Citizen’s Charter despite approaching the public grievance officer of the department.
The Bill proposes that every Public Servant shall prepare a Citizen’s Charter that enumerates the commitments of the Respective Authority for the Citizens and the names of the Designated Officers responsible for meeting for the purposes of such commitments within a given time frame.
The intentions of all members are to remove the grievances of the people but with such a large population and the number of matters too much remaining pending for settlement and therefore may find itself in a Sea of Grievances and therefore must have the mechanism and the system to handle these situations.
The Jan Lokpal be supported with Lok Ayuktas where the Jan Lokpal should take care of the big issues and the Ayukta take care of the smaller ones. Porper effort be given to revive the existing anti corruption mechanisms from all levels either at Centre or in the States which are as on now been emasculated by the executives taking care of it.
The Jan Lokpal must be the absolute must with the comprehensive powers. His presence should not only be felt but dreaded and feared by the corrupt. The cases of corruptions right from the PATWARI to the PM must be within the purview of the Act.