Monday, September 19, 2011

Lokpal shall not be overburdened, Say Aruna Roy and Dr. JP

Both Mrs. Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information and Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, President of the Lok Satta Party, stressed today that no single institution should be made responsible for making public servants accountable.

Taking part in a conference organized by the CPI-affiliated Progressive Forum on the impact of corruption on development, Mrs. Aruna Roy and Dr. JP said that vesting all encompassing power and responsibility in one institution like the Lokpal would overload it and make it to difficult to carry out any of its tasks.

Mrs. Aruna Roy said that the Lokpal should tackle corruption of all elected representatives including the Prime Minister with some safeguards, Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior bureauacrats and all other co-accused including those in the private and the social sector. She suggested amendment of the Central Vigilace Commission to make the CVC independent and further empower it to investigate corruption and take action against mid-level bureaucracy. She suggested creation of Lokayuktas at the State level, an effective time-bound decentralized system for grievance redress and protection of whistleblowers. She wanted Lokayuktas to be created in States to deal with the Chief Minister, Ministers, legislators and officials of the State.

Dr. JP said that the Lokpal Bill should provide for constitution of Lokayuktas in States and that the Central Vigilance Commissionbe made an integral part of the Lokpal institution. Measures should be initiated to ensure the independence and accountability of the CBI and ACBs.

Dr. JP said that the findings of the Lokpal in regard to acts of omission and commission in corruption cases should be final. Provision should be made for confiscation of the entire property of those found guilty of corruption.

Dr. JP said that while Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill is welcome it is not sufficient. The Lokpal should not be entrusted with the task of enforcing accountability of the judiciary, which constitutes another important pillar of the Constitution. A National Judicial Commission should be constituted tasked with the responsibility of appointment and removal of judges.

Mr. Aziz Pasha, MP, Mrs. Chandravathi, MLA were among those who took part in the seminar.

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