Lok Satta

Sunday, 25 September 2011 07:12

Dr. JP sees bid to divide civil society on campaign against corruption


Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today termed the remarks attributed to him, during deposition before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Lokpal Bill, as a tissue of lies. The baseless and unfounded reports in a section of the media are nothing but a concerted attempt to sow seeds of division among civil society activists, Dr. JP said.

(The reports said that Dr. JP in his deposition to the committee on September 23 and 24 feared that the Lokpal as envisaged by the Anna Hazare team would result in the creation of an extra constitutional authority).

Dr. JP said in a media statement today that during his interaction with the committee that lasted two hours and forty-five minutes, there was no occasion for him to either refer to the Jan Lokpal Bill or criticize it. The discussion centered round incorporating strong provisions in the Bill before Parliament for combating corruption.

Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta for the last 15 years has been advocating creation of a strong and independent anti corruption commission, strong, independent, and accountable crime investigation, independent prosecution, swift and sure punishment, including confiscation of properties, of those guilty of corruption.

The Administrative Reforms Commission of which he was a member had emphatically recommended creation of a Lokpal/Rashtriya Lokayukta at the national level, Lokayuktas in States, and ombudsmen in districts and local governments. It had suggested expansion of the definition of corruption, independent crime investigation, independent prosecution, and removal from service of public servants found guilty of corruption by the Lokpal/Lokayukta.

Dr. JP said that he on behalf of the Lok Satta and the Foundation for Democratic Reforms advanced the same points as the ARC.

He told the Standing Committee that the CBI and ACBs needed to be strengthened going by the fact that the only about 800 people are convicted in a year in corruption cases instituted by the CBI and ACBs, the lowest rate in the world. The total number of trial cases pending in the entire country is only 16,000.

Dr. JP argued that once an official is found guilty of either omission or commission in a corruption case by the Lokapl/Lokayukta, he or she should be removed from service forthwith without further inquiry under Article 311 of the Constitution.

To clear all doubts and dispel all misconceptions, Dr. JP said, he has decided to place his written representation to the Standing Committee in public domain. (See http://www.loksatta.org/cms/documents/lokpal/SuggestedAmendmentsToLokpal2011-09-01.pdf)