The Lokpal Bill continues to provoke fierce national debate. Both Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have rubbished the government’s proposed Lokpal Bill. Kiran Bedi has approved the government’s draft of the bill. Arun Jaitley has criticized it because it has excluded provisions that were unanimously approved in the parliamentary debate.
I consider the bill rubbish because it will in no way minimize corruption. I consider the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal equally nonsensical.
Who will appoint the Lokpal? To whom will the Lokpal be accountable? In what manner will the proposed Lokpal become more effective than the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) or the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)?
I therefore decided to prepare my own bill that might create the ideal Lokpal who would actually succeed in minimizing corruption.
In my bill the Lokpal will have sweeping powers and authority to end corruption and indeed all misuse of laws. Therefore in my bill the Lokpal will exercise full authority over the CVC, the CAG and even the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). My Lokpal will have full authority to oversee and ensure that appointments, transfers, promotions and demotions of all government officials are strictly according to rules of procedure in order to prevent misuse of authority to serve partisan vested interest. In my bill the Lokpal will have the power to appoint his representative in every State of the Union in order to ensure that no corruption or misuse of laws is allowed in any part of the country.
In order to ensure the best incumbent to occupy this crucial post my Lokpal would be appointed jointly by all the MPs and MLAs across the nation. To ensure that my Lokpal functions satisfactorily parliament will be empowered to monitor his performance and if necessary remove him. Otherwise my Lokpal will have authority over everybody else.
To satisfy myself that my bill would help establish this ideal Lokpal I presented my draft to a constitutional expert.
“Hmm!” he said after quickly studying it.
“All you need to do is to make the CBI into a constitutional body. The rest seems okay.”
“You don’t seem to understand,” I said patiently. “My bill is intended to establish an effective Lokpal, not just an effective CBI!”
“Yes, yes,” he said. “I have understood that. But nothing apart from what I have just said needs to be done. Everything is already in place.”
“I am talking about a new Lokpal,” I said heatedly. “Can’t you understand?”
“Oh, of course,” he said with an apologetic laugh. “I forgot to mention. All you will need to do in addition is to address our President as Respected Lokpal. You will also have to address every Governor in every State as Respected Lokayukta. The rest of your suggestions are already present in our Constitution.”