Jethmalani Lost the Plot! by Rajinder Puri SignUp
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Jethmalani Lost the Plot!
by Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share
 

In the recently concluded parliamentary debate on the Lokpal Bill the only concrete issue relevant to corruption was raised by Mr. Ram Jethmalani representing the BJP. He was shouted down. Sadly enough, no member took up the issue he raised. Even more sadly, Mr. Jethmalani himself did not carry his argument to its logical end to elaborate on the full implications of the official fraud which he had highlighted.

Mr. Jethmalani pointed out the brazen distortion by the government in signing the international treaty related to illegal bank accounts. The government agreed in its treaty with foreign governments that full secrecy would be maintained over all illegal bank accounts held in the past. Information would be exchanged only in regard to illegal bank accounts discovered in the future. After raising this crucial issue Mr. Jethmalani instead of describing what in practical terms this meant, joined the political herd to demand that the Lokpal Bill which is a mirage to end corruption be passed.

Consider how the government’s curious provision related to secrecy of past bank accounts can be exploited by corrupt politicians. All that even the most corrupt politician having numerous illegal foreign bank accounts would need to do is to go abroad and close down each and every single such account. After that the money realized from the closure of accounts could be diverted to investment in real estate or in commodities or even in diamonds. Admittedly, to conduct this exercise would require time and personal attention. Well, cannot a corrupt leader for personal reasons take time off and go abroad for a month or more to conclude his business?

This glaring possibility has been deliberately overlooked by the government. How could this have been stopped? Even if for argument’s sake Mr. Anna Hazare’s version of the Jan Lokpal had been created it could have done nothing to stop the government’s chicanery. The executive can sign international treaties and Parliament may criticize it but cannot override it. The Supreme Court can block it only if it rules that in some manner that treaty violates existing law. It is only the President of India who is under oath to preserve and protect the Law and Constitution, who as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces is ultimately responsible for national security, who along with the two Houses is part of the Indian Parliament, who exercises executive power either directly or through officers subordinate to him, in whose pleasure any Minister may retain office, who has the right to direct the Council of Minister to take up any aspect which has not been addressed by a Minister - has the power and authority to prevent the government from signing an international treaty.

Mr. Jethmalani and the rest of our worthy politicians should stop chasing the fraudulent Lokpal mirage and deal with reality if they are genuinely serious about tackling corruption.
 

2-Jan-2012
More by :  Rajinder Puri
 
Views: 685
Article Comment Dear Sir,

All below for academic interest ....

1------------------------------------------------

I have not studied constitution, it is only through such articles that people like me come to know subversion and distortion in it.

I have not read any article written by you that indicates that originally the President was supposed to get elected directly by citizens of India.

2-------------------------------------------------

In that case, when people directly elect the President, only if proper checks and cretieria is put in place for eligibility one can hope to get a right person in office.
(And I am sure it is not mentioned in constitution, although such clause can be found in system of Panchayat elections some 1000 years before in southen India)

For all practical purposes, the Prime minister was the supreme till 1989. And people elected the ultra corrupt to this supreme post - I mean Nehru and Gandhis.

On similar lines, why should we assume that the elected President would have been a right one ?

And doesn't repeated wins of those ultra corrupts and unsuitables in elections point to the great weakness of democracy ?

Pakistan has the President who is not titular head, what kind of administration Pakistan has got during civilian govt.rule ?

More is missing than merely supremacy of the President, it alone will not resolve the problem - even if he/she is directly elected by people.

3------------------------------------------------

Last time I heard someone advocating for Presidential system of governance was BJP and that was around 1997.

4------------------------------------------------

Finally, when not only career and business, the corrupt politicians' whole life is at stake, why will they bring a bigger change that would given real power in hand of the president ?
Isn't getting an independent Lokpal easier one. And one can always hope that someone will come a day on that post to expose corrupts and clean the system, and thus hope for a good governance.
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
01/04/2012
Article Comment Mr. Bohre, for the last time cannot you understand that the Constitution from its first day was subverted by Pandit Nehru and we have always functioned under a system in which a dysfunctional President is virtually appointed by the ruling party and is not elected by the people either directly or indirectly. Dr. Rajendra Prasad tried to right this wrong but was blocked by legal luminaries who dishonestly supported Nehru against him. So why do you talk about President Pratibha Patil who should have been debarred from even contesting for the post because she had a CBI probe going on against her. If the Constitution is worked as written you will have very different kinds of Presidents from what you have had. That President willing to exercise his Constitutional powers would be scrutinised by the nation's electorate and be accountable to people. He would outline his agenda in his campaign.That is a much more likely scenario of a deserving President than a Lokpal selected by politicians and judiciary already subverted by corruption and with no other mandate but with extraordinary powers.
My Word
01/03/2012
Article Comment Dear Sir:

Mr. Jethmalani is the only Member of the Rajya Sabha who was bold enough to raise this fraud on our Nation by this ruling party. No one supported him when ruling party members shouted him down. None of our great opposition came to his rescue. None of the media picked up on this great fraud on the Nation. I am really baffled. Will you please explain the reason behind this. Our Finance Minister will go to hell for this fraud on our Nation. The United Nation and more than 160 members signed the Treaty . But our great Natiion has refused to sign and ask for return of the black money!
Shyam Shetty
01/03/2012
Article Comment It's a circle ....

What stopped the current president from making comment in public about such an agreement by Govt. of India ?

Stopping cabinet and PM from making such an agreement is a distant scenario even further.

So, when the President in office doesn't even comment on such agreement, why one should assume that the same President will STOP the govt. from entering into such agreement if the President's office is given more power ??

Therefore, giving more power to the President, as originally 'intended in constitution' is equally fraudulent (as concept of Lokpal).
---------------------------------------------------

What we needed (and still need) is an ombudsman who can independently investigate public crimes and irrefutably expose big fishes in public. Just to act as a filter that catches dirt and proposes in court to remove the dirt.

ONLY THEN, one can hope to get right people in parliament that chose right President who will then use the office rightly.

After all, it's about good governance, we need good people in parliament to ensure good governance. Merely by passing more power to the President's office will not solve the problem, because the parliament (and state assemblies) will always ensure to put a SUITABLE candidate to serve their own interests rather than nation's interest.
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
01/03/2012
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