CPI-M To Move Amendments To Strengthen 'Ineffective' Lokpal Bill

New Delhi, Dec 26: Cranking up pressure a day before the Lokpal Bill comes up for debate before Lok Sabha, the CPI-M today said it will move concrete amendments that includes creation of a separate
cpi m to move amendments to strengthen...
India TV News Desk 26 Dec 2011, 16:26:48 PM IST

New Delhi, Dec 26: Cranking up pressure a day before the Lokpal Bill comes up for debate before Lok Sabha, the CPI-M today said it will move concrete amendments that includes creation of a separate investigation wing to further strengthen the measure which is “ineffective” in its present form.

“We are moving some concrete amendments which we think will further strengthen the Lokpal because the bill, as it conceives of the Lokpal right now, ... we are not very happy in the sense that it is not an effective Lokpal,” CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters here. 

The Left parties insist that they want to amend the present Bill on various counts, especially to provide for a separate investigating wing to probe corruption or inclusion of CBI's anti-corruption wing under the ombudsman's ambit. 

The CPI(M) also wants inclusion of corporate crime in the jurisdiction of Lokpal, particularly those cases which cause a loss to the public exchequer and has the involvement of public servants.

The major Left party has already objected to the inclusion of the mandatory provision of creation of Lokayuktas in states on the Lokpal model, saying it would damage the federal structure and intervene in the powers of states.

It wants separate provisions or a model bill for the purpose which could be adopted by the states.

The CPI(M) is also expected to move amendments on the selection and composition of the Lokpal and its members with a view to broadbase the selection process. 

It would also seek widening of the definition of corruption to include wilful grant of undue benefits to any person or party (company) by a public servant or obtaining of undue benefits, Left sources said referring to 2G and other scams.

Currently, the sources said that power was being misused to benefit an entity like a private company which is not a “person” as required under the Prevention of Corruption Act.  Often, there would be no traceable kickbacks or embezzlement but a huge loss to public exchequer and breach of public trust, they said, adding that such instances could also be seen in the privatisation of state-run firms through “wilful misuse of power.”

The sources said the Left parties would submit amendments seeking the inclusion of corporate fraud and provision for immediate cancellation of licences of corporates involved in corruption.

Maintaining that ‘plutocracy' or rule of wealth has come to dominate the political system, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat recently said the “neo-liberal regime has led to an exponential rise in corruption. Much of this corruption stems from the big business-ruling politician-bureaucratic nexus which has been established.”

He said the rule by the governments of the UPA and NDA have shown how policy making has been “suborned to serve the interests of big business and how privatization and loot of natural resources are facilitated by this nexus in operation.”

The Left would also press for changes in the existing legislation to ensure more clarity in the functioning of the Lokpal, the sources added.

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