Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dr. JP calls for collective action on Bill to amend corruption law

The Lok Satta Party has proposed that the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, convene a meeting of all Opposition floor leaders in the Assembly to finalize the draft Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The party has suggested that the draft Bill could be revised on the basis of suggestions from all parties and that the combined Opposition move it as a private Bill in the Assembly if the Government does not come forward to introduce it.

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan in a letter to Mr. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, recalled that the PRP, TRS, CPI, CPM and BJP, which took part in an all-party meeting the Lok Satta Party convened on July 22 had supported draft Bill but wanted a week’s time to come up with specific changes.

One suggestion that emerged at the meeting was that the burden of proof in all cases of corruption remain with the prosecution and not be shifted to the accused as proposed in the draft Bill.

Enclosing the draft Bill and the letter he had written to the Chief Minister, Dr. JP pointed out that the Bill specifically envisages a key role to the Leader of the Opposition in all appointments of senior officials of the Anti Corruption Bureau.

Dr. JP said in his letter, “As the main Opposition party, I urge the Telugu Desam Party to examine the Bill in the light of the urgency and importance of taking firm and concrete steps to curb corruption.”

Dr. JP also pointed out he had asked the Legislative Assembly Secretary to whom he had sent the original draft Bill to withhold further action facilitating collective action by the Opposition.

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