M A I N   N E W S

Now comes third version of Lokpal from Aruna Roy
NAC member to present her Bill to House committee
Faraz Ahmad/TNS

New Delhi, August 20
National Campaign For People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) activist Aruna Roy has questioned Team Anna’s ultimatum to the government to withdraw its Lokpal Bill from the Standing Committee and introduce their Jan Lokpal Bill by Tuesday.

The NCPRI today presented a set of new legislations as an alternative to both the Jan Lokpal and the Government Lokpal Bills terming one too unwieldly and the other too inadequate. Roy said their version of the Bill would be presented to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel
Social activist Anna Hazare with Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan (L) at the Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi
Social activist Anna Hazare with Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan (L) at the Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi on Saturday. — PTI

Two prominent members of Team Anna - Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan - are still ‘sleeping’ members of the NCPRI. They are now campaigning in the name of India Against Corruption (IAC).

Roy, who is also member of the National Advisory Council, agreed with the IAC that “some sections of the (government) Bill are dangerous since these tend to target those fighting against corruption” and mentioned specifically the proposal to extend Lokpal probity to the NGOs, a view held by the Anna team.

But she rejected IAC’s demand to totally withdraw this Bill and said, “But we still don’t think it has to be rejected. It is a great improvement on the first Bill the Government brought in February,” said the NCPRI activist.

Aruna Roy, accompanied by Nikhil Dey, Harsh Mander, Shekhar Singh and Justice AP Shah, while presenting their version, said, “Everyone has a right to protest and so has Anna. We condemn the government action in arresting him. But we object when they (IAC) say only our draft should be accepted and set a Tuesday deadline

Why shouldn’t the views of other groups not be heard? We find certain fundamental flaws in their JanLokpal Bill too,” the Aruna team said.

In the detailed paper that they released, the NCPRI has proposed three different institutions to fight corruption, a Rashtriya Bhrashtachar Nivaran Lokpal (National Anti-Corruption Commission) to tackle corruption of all elected representatives - Prime Minister (with some safeguards), ministers and members of Parliament and senior bureaucrats (Group A Officers), Against the IAC formulation which proposed the abolition of the CVC and bringing the CBI under the Lokpal, the NCPRI proposed further strengthening of the CVC office, calling it the Kendriya Satarkta Lokpal to be an investigative, prosecution and appellate authority for the remaining categories of civil servants.

The NCPRI has also proposed the setting up of a separate Nyayapalika Lokpal (Judicial Accountability Commission) by strengthening the Judicial Accountability and Standards Bill (this is currently before Parliament) to investigate charges of corruption and misconduct against sitting judges.

The NCPRI has also proposed an independent Shikayat Nivaran Lokpal (Grievances Redress Commission) to effectively redress grievances in a centralised and time-bound manner.

“The Commission will have its representatives at the rural-block level and urban-ward level and could also become a single-window gateway for grievances redress for various central and centrally sponsored schemes like the MNREGS,” explained the NCPRI members today.

Additionally, the NCPRI has proposed an effective Lokrakshak Kanoon (Whistleblower Protection Law) by strengthening the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making Disclosure Bill, which is currently before Parliament, and ensuring that it becomes operative at all institutions that receive complaints related to corruption and mal-governance and effectively protects the identity and interests of “whistleblowers.”

Anna not sole voice of Civil society

I think Annaji is ill- advised. I still believe if we all go and depose before the Standing Committee and sufficiently with well stacked arguments, we can change the Bill around because the government bill leaves a lot to be desired. It is a bad Bill,

— Aruna Roy, National Advisory Council member 





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