The Lokpal Bill should have been called “Let’s Fool the Public Again” Bill*. It has more holes than Swiss cheese, more loopholes than a CBI case. The deficiencies of the government version of the Lokpal are so blindingly obvious that one wonders “What were they thinking?”
This is what Anna Hazare is fighting for:
Selection of 3 retired judges by the President and the Executive (ruling government) to the Lokpal Panel: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (“Who will guard the guards themselves?”) We would be naïve to think that the politicians can self-regulate and will be above influencing the Lokpal and Lokayuktas. Duh!
Bureaucrats will be outside the purview of the Lokpal Bill:Now, since when were the bureaucrats above having their hands inside the cookie jar (all fingers in ghee and head inside the bowl also).
The Lokpal cannot inquire into any allegation against the PM in relation to his functions of national security and public order, i.e. on matters of Defense or Foreign Jurisdiction: The specter of the “B” word still haunts – even after 24 years. The BIG scams have primarily been in the Defense deals (though Raja would vehemently dispute the monopoly of Defense deals on size of corruption)
The Lokpal is supposed to investigate cases of corruption only, and not address himself to redressing grievances in respect of injustices and hardship caused by maladministration: That’s like treating the symptoms and not the disease. Injustices and maladministration leads to bribery and corruption. You can’t get to the root of graft till you attack the reasons which lead people to give graft.
Complaints of offence committed within 10 years from the date of complaint can be taken up for investigation, not beyond this period: Why should there be any limitation of statutes? Justice should not be denied even if delayed.
No Sou Moto Recognition of Legal Cases – Complaints against the Legislature Members can only be made to the Speaker of Parliament: Legally too complicated for me – but even a layman like me understands that this makes no sense as the chances of finding a independent and impartial speaker in Indian parliaments are lower than Anna Hazare breaking his fast at the hands of Kalmadi.
*UPA’s mantra seems to be: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but why cannot you fool all the people all the time”