Saturday, June 18, 2011

Laser Sharp

The nation is obsessed with the debate on an anti-corruption bill, known as the Lokpal Bill. Under this, there will be a committee of eminent persons, outside the jurisdiction of the government, with powers to prosecute any corrupt public servant in office. The pro-Bill group, led by a social worker Anna Hazare (a male) want a stronger Lokpal (People's Guardian) who will cover all the 120 million government workers, will have the authority to investigate, prosecute and punish any corrupt person. The government, which wants the Bill, has certain reservations: a) To watch, monitor, investigate and prosecute such a large number of persons, the Lokpal will need a huge army of persons. How can we have such huge army of persons who are answerable to no one? b) The question today is about corruption in high places. So, the corruption in lower places can be controlled by strengthening existing laws, and the Lokpal can take care of corruption in high places, from the level of Joint Secretary and above, including Ministers in the Cabinet. c) Even if a system of Lokpal is made, an all such facilities such as investigating agencies are placed at the disposal of the Lokpal, since the Lokpal itself arises out of the premise that the existing persons are corrupt, how can we expect them to become pure because they are placed under the Lokpal? and, d) The Prime Minister must be except from the purview of Lokpal so that government is not destabilized and the existing Parliamentary procedures are good enough to monitor the PM. The PM can be brought within the ambit of the Lokpal once his tenure is over. This would protect the office of the PM.

I go with the government. That doesn't mean I go with the corrupt.

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