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Five reasons why AAP Lokpal is Mahajokepal

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Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal found himself in a fix after Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan at a scathing press conference on Sunday elucidated how the Delhi Lokpal Bill 2015 had gone back on all the main promises of the Jan Lokpal movement, calling it a ‘cruel joke’ on the people.

Bhushan, flanked by AAP founding member and his father Shanti Bhushan, reminded Kejriwal and his supporters that one of the reasons of formation of the Aam Aadmi Party was to realize the long-standing dream of an independent Lokpal, which would curb corruption and weed out corrupt elements out of the system.

Yogendra Yadav, the expelled AAP founding member, in a Facebook post, mentioned the demands made by the Lokpal movement.

  • The appointment of the Lokpal was to be done in an open manner by involving the public in the search process.
  • The final selection of the Lokpal was to be done by a committee where independent, non-political and non-governmental appointees had a majority.
  • A special investigative agency was to be created by or controlled by the Lokpal.
  • The jurisdiction of the Lokpal was to be extended to all the functionaries of the relevant government.

When the fledgling party secured a historic victory in the Delhi Assembly polls last year, it was expected that the dream of having a strong, independent Lokpal would come true. However, Bhushan said, “Under pressure due to unjustified delay, the Delhi government has tabled a Jan Lokpal Bill, a cheating to the people and the Lokpal movement.”

Here are the five reasons why it’s ‘Mahajokepal’:

  1. Appointment of Lokpal

Bhushan, who reportedly has a copy of the Delhi Lokpal Bill 2015, in a statement said that the selection committee for the Lokpal would consist of High Court Chief Justice, the Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and Leader of Opposition.

He alleged that this clause made it clear that the AAP government wanted the appointment of Lokpal to be controlled by the political class and would not let any appointment be made without the approval of ruling party.

Jan Lokpal movement’s promise

The Janlokpal bill had, on the other hand, envisioned that the appointments be made independent of the will of the political class.

“But the provision in the present bill cheats the spirit of an independent Janlokpal. Out of the four members in selection committee, three would be from the political class. This is completely contrary to what Arvind Kejriwal has had always said about the independence of the ombudsman,” Bhushan said.

  1. Removal of Chairperson or members of the Jan Lokpal

In the Jan Lokpal bill introduced by Delhi government, as per the provisions mentioned in section 6(1) of the proposed bill, the Lokpal can be removed by a motion passed by the Delhi assembly by a 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting in the assembly.

“Needless to say, if the act sees the light of the day, the Lokpal will be completely at the mercy of AAP government,” Bhushan alleged.

Jan Lokpal movement’s promise

The Jan Lokpal movement had always argued that the anti-corruption and investigating agencies end up becoming instruments in the hands of ruling governments. So there was a pressing need for an effective Lokpal that would be delinked from any interference of ruling governments and political control.

“It is sad to see the AAP bringing a bill which would ultimately leave the Lokpal at the mercy of Delhi government, making it a joke,” Bhushan said.

  1. Investing machinery not independent

Bhushan alleged that no investigative machinery has been given to or placed under Delhi Lokpal as per section 10 in the proposed bill. Without its own independent officers, solely recruited for and dedicated to the institution, the Lokpal would merely be like the various other commissions and tribunals.

“This effectively means that the Lokpal will have to carry its investigations through officers and machinery provided by governments. Needless to say the investigating officers would obviously be under the control of those governments which provide it.”

Jan Lokpal movement’s promise

The Janlokpal movement, Bhushan said, had always stressed that investigating officers should be free of the influence or control of any government. It was argued that no less than an independent investigative machinery vested with the institution of Lokpal would be effective in curbing corruption.

  1. Jurisdiction of the Lokpal

The former AAP leader claimed that as per the present bill, the jurisdiction of the Lokpal would be to investigate any corruption offense in Delhi, be it various agencies and functions under the central government. It means that the state Lokpal can investigate the central government as well. This, he said, has been deliberately done to invite confrontation with the Centre

Jan Lokpal movement’s promise

“This is totally contrary to what was envisaged in our Jan Lokpal bill where the state Lokayukta were supposed to investigate the corruption of officers of state governments only and the Central Lokpal would investigate the officers from central government, “ Bhushan said.

He alleged that this provision has been introduced with malafide intentions to ensure that the central government does not approve and the bill never gets passed. The AAP will then claim that it tried to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, but the central government obstructed it.

  1. Penalty on false complaints

Bhushan claimed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill 2015 prescribes 1-year jail for false complaints, the falsity of which will be decided by this ‘Sarkari Lokpal’.

Jan Lokpal movement’s promise

“This is also what we had fought against since it will deter complainants. It is not there in the Uttarakhand bill which Kejriwal said this is modeled on,” Bhushan said.

The Swaraj Abhiyan leader slammed the AAP government for not making the draft public to enable public consultation and comments.

“The plan was to pass this Maha joke pal bill with a dramatic flourish and then play victim by claiming that the Central govt is obstructing it,” Bhushan said, adding, The Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 is not what the anti-corruption Lokpal movement had fought so deeply for. It is merely an eyewash and not the bill which made thousands and thousands volunteer for a crusade against corruption.”

Bhushan reminded Kejriwal that in fact, the present bill was worse than the central government’s Jan Lokpal Bill, against which the present Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had spoken so vehemently.

“Leave alone ministers, not even a rat will go to jail on the basis of this Bill. No proper investigation will be possible under it,” Kejriwal had said in December 2013 regarding a proposed legislation by the central government while terming it a “Jokepal Bill”.

He posed following three questions to Kejriwal in this regard:

  1. We would like to know what compelled the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to now bring the Jokepal bill, which he had once fought against?
  2. Does he now believe that a corrupt rat will go to jail on the basis of this new bill?
  3. How would he guarantee that the proposed Lokpal will not end up becoming his political instrument against opponents/for corruption, as is the case with institutions like CBI or CVC?

It is hoped the ‘anti-corruption crusader’ Kejriwal would care to answer these pertinent questions, instead of terming anyone pointing out flaws in the Bill as ‘BJP supporters’. The Aam Aadmi Party that claims to represent the interest of the common man should clear the air as to what compelled it to introduce such a toothless and weak Lokpal as alleged by its founding members.

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  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Compromised Janlokpal Bill formality accomplished by the strongest state government in India.Why there is a Parivartan /Change behind Original Jan Lokpal Arvind Sir Ji ? Stop fooling people that search cum selection committee will follow.During the launch of a new vehicle does the producer promises selection of parts and its quality search search will be announced later.When you claim there is not even a comma or full stop change in the original Janlokpal version then why you kept it parked for almost a year.

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  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Compromised Janlokpal Bill formality accomplished by the strongest state government in India.Why there is a Parivartan /Change behind Original Jan Lokpal Arvind Sir Ji ? Stop fooling people that search cum selection committee will follow.During the launch of a new vehicle does the producer promises selection of parts and its quality search search will be announced later.When you claim there is not even a comma or full stop change in the original Janlokpal version then why you kept it parked for almost a year.

Next Story

Delhi Murder Case Will Never Become Dadri or Kathua, Read Here to Find out Why!

We are very WEAK, we are very timid — we have no more “kshatriya blood running in our veins” to defend ourselves and to protect our own land of birth

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Hindu terror
Delhi murder case will never become Dadri or Kathua, Read here WHY?

By Salil Gewali

The incident that had happened in the capital town on last Sunday was dangerously shocking.  A small businessman – Mr. Druv Raj Tyagi, a resident of Moti Nagar, West Delhi, was stabbed brutally who died the very next day. The reason behind this gruesome attack was that the business man’s daughter was often indecently taunted and eve-teased by a group of boys from other community in the locality. This had become a cause of serious concerns for the family members. On that fateful night, the father was returning from a clinic with his daughter who was quite sick. When a gang of youths passed indecent remarks upon the daughter, the father could not tolerate it, he felt very humiliated. He immediately determined himself to approach the parents of one of the main boys.

India Intolerance
From left, Madhushree Dutta, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah and Irene Malik Dhar who are among Indian film industry figures returning National Film Awards pose before the media in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Booker Prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy and two dozen Bollywood award winners added their voices to the artists, scientists and historians who say they are alarmed by a climate of religious intolerance and violence in India.(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

The father of the boy, Mr. Jahangir Khan, instead of apologizing and pacifying Mr. Tyagi and taking his son to task started hurling the abuses at him. Very soon many other Jahangir’s relatives joined him and started thrashing the man. In the meantime, Jahangir took out a knife and stabbed multiple times in his abdomen. Hearing the loud cries of the father, the son – Mr. Anmol Tyagi immediately rushed to the spot. But Jahangir Khan again aggressively attacked the boy with the same knife. Due to deep injuries in Tyagi’s liver, kidney, and intestines, he died on Monday while the son is still battling for the life.

Such cases of brutal attacks or sexual overtures on the particular community are increasingly happening across the country. No matter how heinous the crimes, no matter how brutal the sexual torture, they never become “Kathua and Dadri”, nor do any leaders visit the scene of the crime to console the aggrieved victims of the majority community. Nor any noted NGOs, nor elite groups come out in protest and condemn the incidents. Even the bloodiest incidents of Ankit Saxena, Pankaj Narang, Sunita, Riya Gautam and so on could not evoke any sympathy of our celebrities and political leaders, nor of‘AWARD-WAPSI’ gang. Needless to say, hardly any candle marches are held and placards displayed in condemnation against the criminals if the victims are from the majority community. Are the pains and agonies of the majority less hurtful and the perpetrators less sinful?  Is this not disgustingly inhumane trend?

Sexual harrassment
Such cases of brutal attacks or sexual overtures on the particular community are increasingly happening across the country.

Please note, not just the only women are unsafe in India. The time is not far off when the whole major population of the country will be screaming for the safety and security in their own land. How did Kashmir happen, how our people were tortured and deported, and how did we react? What with our secularist brothers who have learned all along to hate the nation itself! Yes, they have moved a step further by coining the unheard term — Hindu terror.

We are very WEAK, we are very timid — we have no more “kshatriya blood running in our veins”  to defend ourselves and to protect our own land of birth. Kerala, West Bengal and some pockets of Assam are already up in arms against us.

Muslims protest
New Delhi: Muslim youth shouting slogans with placards during a protest against Dadri lynching incident, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh

Alas, our inaction, our meek silence and our deceptive “chant of secularism” has almost put the major populace under the ominous threat.

Also Read- Trump’s Immigration Plan Emphasizes Skills over Family Connections

Wakeup before the dagger of violence hacks the neck of this rich civilization! 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.