(To Hon’ble Members of Parliament, New Delhi
Subject: My sincere appeal to prevent introduction of the anti-poor Lokpal Bill passed by the Cabinet
Dear Hon’ble Members of the Parliament,
Like many of you I have been serving my country to strengthen democracy at the grass roots. Like many of you all my efforts have been focused on reducing the sufferings of the common man, the poor farmer, worker or service person. Again like many of you I have seen from very close quarters how corruption hurts the poor most.
It is only to protect his interests that I volunteered to be a part of the joint drafting committee. I regret to share that many issues which were addressing common man’s persisting concerns have been totally overlooked in the government cleared bill.
Introduction of such a defectively structured bill is an affront to the honorable Parliamentarians, which does not have the option of debating on some of the critical issues that we had raised for a strong anti-corruption Act.
1. A Strong Public Grievance Redressal mechanism – with penalties so that all departments can work effectively to reduce corruption, which is creating so much misery for the poor. Inclusion of lower bureaucracy under the ambit of the Lokpal – most cases of corruption of poor, farmers, workers and general populace would be in the interaction with the lower bureaucracy. All cases of corruption even at higher level and political levels would not be possible without involvement of the lower officers.
2. Same bill should create a strong, accountable and independent Lokpal as well as Lokayuktas at state level – because many of the corruption cases impacting the poor involve state government officers.
3. Independent selection, funding and removal mechanism to ensure autonomy of function.
4. Strong effective checks and balances to ensure accountability and transparency of the Lokpal and Lok Ayuktas.
5. Many other important issues like the coverage of the PM, Judiciary, MPs in Parliament, dismissal of corrupt officers, strong punishment, empowerment along with checks and balance of Lokpal etc.
While there are many important issues in the lokpal I write to focus and highlight the plight of the common man yet again being left out. It is my hope that the institution of the Parliament will continue to uphold its glorious heritage and prevent introduction of such an ANTI POOR bill by the government.
A copy of the comparative statement of our demands vis-à-vis the government draft is enclosed herewith for your perusal.