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Government's draft Lokpal Bill is ridiculous: Lokayukta

Staff Reporter


‘Government is drafting an impotent Bill'

Team Anna plans to approach political parties


BANGALORE: With the meeting between civil society and government representatives in the Lokpal drafting committee reaching an impasse, and each presenting their own draft, Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde came down heavily on the Union Government's version of the draft Lokpal bill on Wednesday, calling it “ridiculous and useless”.

He accused the Government of drafting an impotent Bill that will not be able to tackle corruption in the country.

“It seems like the Government just wants to pass a Bill so that it can tell the world and the United Nations that it has fulfilled the commitments of the UN convention against corruption,” Mr. Hegde said, while speaking to presspersons after addressing the student gathering convened by ARISE, a students' organisation.

Caveat

Mr. Hegde criticised the caveat in the Government's version where it states that the Lokpal needs to notify the accused before a raid can be conducted. “How can we catch the corrupt when we have to send them a notice saying that we are going to catch them soon,” he asked.

“While our (civil society members in the draft committee) version says that anyone can file a petition in the Supreme Court against an erring Lokpal, the Government's version says that only they can file a petition against the Lokpal,” he said. “An erring Lokpal can continue in the office if he does the Government's bidding. The agency will serve to the Government of the day, just as the police and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) do now,” the Lokayukta said.

Mr. Hegde said that both the Government's version of the draft Bill and the civil society's version will be tabled. Team Anna plans to approach political parties and take to the streets to gather support for their draft Bill, he said.

Speaking to students in Jain College, J.C Road, Mr. Hegde said that though the series of meetings of the drafting committee were cordial, they were without substance, and resulted in the stalemate.

At the event, ARISE, explained the extent of corruption in the country's educational system and submitted a six-point memorandum to the Lokayukta urging him to include the private educational sector under the ambit of the Lokpal bill.

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