Team Anna Sends Open Letter to PM And MPs On Lokpal BillNew Delhi, Dec 25: Team Anna today sent out an open letter to the Prime Minister and all members of Parliament narrowing down its demands to four core issues in relation to the governmnt's Lokpal
New Delhi, Dec 25: Team Anna today sent out an open letter to the Prime Minister and all members of Parliament narrowing down its demands to four core issues in relation to the governmnt's Lokpal Bill introduced in Lok Sabha.
The four core issues include: (1) giving suo motu powers to Lokpal to investigate matters of corruption (2) give independent powers of investigation to Lokpal and Lokayuktas (3) made the selection panel for Lokpal broadbased and (4) include Class C and D employees under the purview of Lokpal.
Following is the full text:
Respected Prime Minister and Members of Parliament,
The year-long people's campaign against corruption has brought us to the very edge of legislation that can tackle it powerfully. Sensing the national mood, Parliament has also taken it upon itself to foster a significant debate on the issues within the Bill, and for this we thank our elected representatives. While we are on record with our displeasure over the current draft of the bill, we are also keen that the best possible law should now emerge from the debate in the people's Houses.
Therefore, we place before our MPs the following representations, in the expectation and hope that they will articulate this in Parliament and ensure passage of a Bill that contains these provisions. Without these provisions, the Lokpal Bill will be just another law - one among many that have proven ineffective so far.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas must be able to suo moto initiate their own investigations, without a complaint or reference from anyone. It should also not be required to alert the accused through preliminary enquiry or hearing before filing an FIR (this is as recommended by the Standing Committee).
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas must be able to carry out independent investigations, through any one of the following mechanisms.
(a) The anti-corruption branch of CBI should be merged into Lokpal, anti-corruption bureaus and state vigilance departments in state governments should be similarly merged into Lokayuktas,OR
(b) Lokpal and Lokayuktas should have their own investigative wings which should have exclusive jurisdiction over cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, (the Government's own previous draft of the Bill included this provision) OR
(c) The administrative and financial control over CBI should be with Lokpal and the appointment of CBI Director should be independent of any political control. The anti-corruption bureaus and state vigilance departments in state governments should be merged into Lokayuktas.
3. The selection of the Lokpal should be through the consensus of the selection panel. Selection committee should consist of Prime Minister, Leader
of Opposition, two judges to be nominated by collegium of Supreme Court judges, CAG, CVC and CEC. Search committee to suggest nominees
should consist of former Chief Justices, Former CAG, former, CVC and former CEC. A detailed selection procedure should be prescribed in the
4. The Lokpal/Lokayukta's jurisdiction should include Class C and D officers directly.
We urge Parliament's consideration and adoption of these points, to give the country a real anti-corruption law. Our opposition to various other provisions of the draft bill remains, and we will take up the fight for improvements to the legislation in the months and years ahead.
Respectfully in the nation's service,
INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION
December 24, 2011