By : Rajeev Sharma, Strategic Analyst, Columnist, Publishing
Activity: 10 comments 626 views last activity : 04 16 2012 02:18:04 +0000
I refuse to respond to TROLLS. Pl see my earlier post on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COMPANY THAT ANNA HAZARE KEEPS and as you read some of the ballistic comments you will understand what I mean. As Sachin says "Let my bat do the talking", so here I am with another food for thought on Anna Hazare's campaign.
I have stated that earlier, and I repeat ad nauseam now also, that I have no doubt in my mind that Anna's campaign is the bitter medicine that this scams-ridden nation and the UPA II government badly need. He is doing a good job -- the scavenger's job. The nation should be grateful to him and I salute his spirit and his well-meaning intent. More than anyone else, it is ANNA HAZARE who needs to be given BHARAT RATNA. Anna ji hi hain aaj ke asli Gandhi.
However, journalism has taught me an important thing: never to get bowled over by one side howsoever convincing and appealing that side might be.
So here I am with some more questions. I repeat once again that these probing questions do not any way dilute in my eyes the good work that Anna ji has been doing. And these questions have not been put by me but by leading lights and legal eagles of this great country.
On the second day of Hazare's fast, one of the members of the committee
that drafted the activists' version of the Bill himself came forward to
declare that he objected to certain clauses. Karnataka Lokayukta Justice
Santosh Hegde (retd) was quoted saying, "While I say that the government's
Lokpal Bill is of no use, I am not completely with the Jan Lokpal Bill, too,
although it's much better."
I present some of the hotly contested clauses of the Lokpal bill that is
creating such a furore:
1. The selection of the Jan Lokpal*
The activists' draft calls for a motely group of people to make up the Jan
Lokpal though critics have questioned why 'Nobel laureates of Indian origin'
(who are part of the recommended list of nominees) should have a say in the
matters of country they no longer belong to.
*2. The setting up of a Lokpal fund*
Why a clause should exist in the Bill that this fund should be set up, is
being pointed out by critics as a straight road to corruption and
misappropriation by the Lokpal members themselves
*3. The exoneration from all charges*
Clause 27(2) reads, 'No proceedings of the Lokpal shall be held to be bad
for want of form and except on the ground of jurisdiction, no proceedings or
decision of the Lokpal shall be liable to be challenged, reviewed, quashed
or called in question in any court of ordinary Civil Jurisdiction'. The same
section says that all members will receive 'good faith immunity'. But
critics point out that human beings being human, what will happen when
members stop acting in the public's 'good faith' and they are above being
questioned by all, even the ?
*4. The absolute power it assumes*
The Lokpal bill requires that the and the CBI's
anti-corruption unit be scrapped and the powers with these bodies be awarded
to itself. It also assumes the powers of the police (Section 12) and even a
trial court (Section 10.2). Critics say assuming these many responsibilities
may lead to problems of its own, since the powers of present day authorities
would be entirely superseeded by the Lokpal itself
5. The threat to anti-development*
Critics like former Harish Salve call the bill could be
extremely rigid and work against development if implemented. He argues that
the body, if it comes to power, could shoot down any project proposed on
grounds of complaints from the public. Are we ready therefore, to go back to
an autocratic society with the Lokpal in charge? Critics say they hope not.
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