November 29, 2011

Lokpal Draft Report a Disappointment: Team Anna

While the government is facing a heat over the Foreign Direct Investment in retail in the winter session, Team Anna threatened to launch a massive demonstration against the government for its failure to bring a strong Lokpal Bill.

As per the report, the final draft report excludes lower bureaucracy out of the ambit of the ombudsman. Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Standing Committee also recommended the exclusion of judiciary and MPs under the Lokpal's purview rejecting the demand for the inclusion of the CBI under its jurisdiction.

Team Anna has been demanding for the inclusion of lower bureaucracy, higher judiciary, Citizens' Charter and setting up of Lokayuktas in state level in the ambit of Lokpal Bill.

Arvind Kejriwal, key member of Team Anna said that the government wants to exclude junior bureaucrats- Group C and D employees from the Lokpal Bill, which suggests that corruption will be still there on the ground level.

However, he welcomed the government's decision to bring NGOs under Lokpal. He said that the corruption in NGOS and media should be strengthened by separate mechanisms.

Over the exclusion of CBI in Lokpal, he said that the move by government is unacceptable. If the CBI will be controlled by the government, the Lokpal will remain as an empty tin box, he said.

Kiran Bedi, another team member, also supported Kejriwal's views. She welcomed the proposal to bring corporates, media and NGOs under the ambit of Lokpal.

The final draft is being prepared by a parliamentary committee which consists of 31 members from different parties and headed by Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. It will come up with a final draft on November 30.

On the other hand, Anna Hazare has warned the government to go on another fast at Ramlila Maidan from December 27 if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the winter session of Parliament.

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