Having studied different points of view put forth by different groups regarding the Lok Pal, his appointment, jurisdiction and the organisational structure, I have come to the conclusion that all of us are not sincerely attempting to achieve the sole objective to root out corruption from this country. I have been witness to the functioning of bureaucracy in this country all my life and my feeling is that the bureaucrats behave more like Masters of the people rather than Public Servants. Needy people have to run from pillar to post to get even ordinary jobs done like driving licenses, passports, hard earned pensions /gratuity/ provident fund and even withdrawing the money their deceased parents have deposited in Post offices not to speak of appointments, contracts, tenders and the rest. The environment has become so pessimistic and suffocating that there does not seem to be any escape route. Thanks Anna Hazare, the Crusader against corruption, that some light is now noticed at the end of the dark tunnel.
Lokpal vs 120 crores One question that has continuously been raised is how can single Lokpal attend to the grievances of the 120 crore people of India.(though this number does not take into consideration that most of the grievances arise from house-holds represented by the head of the familiy which brings down the effective number to only 20 crores). Hopefully children under the age of 18 do not need the help of Lokpal. Not only this, every one in India is not affected all the time by Central Government working and most of the corruption is noticed in the State government Departments for wihch seperate Lok Ayuktas have to be appointed with their own organisations assisting them. Moreover, with the help of computers and internet many things can be achieved in no time which were unthinkable in olden days.
CBI AND CVC Appointment of Lokpal will render CVC almost redundant while the continued functioning of CBI under the government under the pretext of so called independence will leave it toothless. Strong IAS/IPS lobby will not like any change in both CVC and CBI where their career is assured but we have to swallow the bitter pill. All the government employees have to be brought under the net of one agency called Lokpal, otherwise cases where Officials of different cadres are involved will be tossed between these different agencies causing undue delay. In the event Gp C and Gp D posts are kept under CVC which remains under Government as hitherto before, the situation will remain unchanged since the percentage of Gp C and D employees form the bulk of Government Servants and their exclusion from Lokpal will defeat the very purpose for which Lokpal is sought to be made. Needless to mention that most of the corruption is indulged in and routed through GpC and Gp D who act as conduits for their bosses except in very large contract deals. The public in India are directly affected by the corrupt practices of theses Gp C and Gp D employees in their day to day dealings. It is therefore important that all employees are brought under the ambit of Lokpal and the Lokpal is provided with its own investigative agency or CBI is directly placed under it. The head of the CBI should be appointed by PM, Lokpal and Chief Justice of Supreme court. Similarly the CVC should either be disbanded completely or else brought under the ambit of Lokpal as its aministrative wing, as against investigative wing(CBI), and its responsibility will be to receive public grievances and their redressal besides Legal matters concerning Lokpal. Appointment of CVC will be the same way as in the case of Head of the CBI.
Citizen’s Charter Citizen Charter has to be prepared by the respective Ministeries, Departments and Government Offices. Lokpal is only required to effectively monitor its implementation which will not put any substantial burden on the Lokpal in any way.
Appointment Appointment of Lokpal should be for a fixed tenure of 5 years and his selection should be done on a broader basis. Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and Chief Justice of India should form the selection panel which will ensure greater weightage to the elected representatives as against the Technical expertise.
Prosecution powers The Lokpal will only be effective in case it can take up complaints independently and investigate all the complaints received against any Government servant without any interference from any quarter and in case any of the allegations is prima face established, further prosecute the said Government servant. In absence of any such powers of prosecution and non-availability of organisation for such prosecution , Lokpal will be rendered into a white elephant and will dismay the public who have entrusted it with their dreams.
I only wish good sense prevails upon all the political parties to see the virtue behind the bill which is expected to help the nation progress rather than cling on to their vested interests for I am sure today they may escape but future generations will not spare them.