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Social audit committee for multiple institutions in Lokpal
July, 27th 2011

A slew of measures involving multiple institutions rather than one institution for doing everything for everyone is the Suchna Evum Rozgar Ka Adhikar Abhiyan's mantra for a stronger Lokpal bill. A draft of its own version of the Lokpal bill has been completed and was made public on Monday by Aruna Roy, member of the National Advisory Council member, and Nikhil Dey, co-convener of the National Council for People's Right Information (NCPRI).

The bill seeks to include the Prime Minister as well as all levels of bureaucracy and the judiciary in the Lokpal's ambit but with specific conditions as against provisions of the government's draft Lokpal Bill which not only excludes the Prime Minister but also the Chief Justice of India . The government's draft bill covers only ministers, MPs and Grade A officers. It also lays lots of stress on redressal of grievances through a grievances redress commission.

Roy and Dey would soon be leaving for Delhi for a meeting with various political parties to lobby for inclusion of points from their draft bill.

"A good law cannot be based only on a strong revolution but it is the one that is built on an informed debate," Aruna Roy said. "The draft that we have prepared is an outcome of a series of consultations that the NCPRI in association with other organisations has been holding since the past three months. Our bill is neither the government's version nor it is along the lines of the Jan Lokpal bill. It is different," she added.

Justifying the inclusion of a variety of measures for addressing corruption and other issues Roy said , "We should not put up a law where one persons takes on all the disease of the government. Then instead of he correcting them is likely to also fall ill. The Lokpal will naturally be also drawn from existing system and if bestowed with so many powers he is also likely to go the same way," she said.

Their version of the Lokpal Bill adopts a two-pronged attitude for covering not only complaints under the Prevention of Corruption Act but also takes cognisance of complaints relating to violations under Chapter IX of the IPC, Prevention of Money laundering , and other legal instruments that the government may notify from time to time.

The bills seeks to address issues of corruption through three parallel Lokpals - the national anti-corruption Lokpal, a stronger Central Vigilance Commission or the Kendriya Satarkta Lokpal, and a stronger Judicial Accountability and Standards Bill or the Nyay Palika Lokpal .

While cases of corruption against the Prime Minister, minister, MPs, Class I officers of the government and corporate houses and NGOs, as co-accused , have been sought to be covered under the first, middle-level government officers have been sought to be covered by a strong Central and State vigilance committee while judges of the Supreme Court and High Court have been brought under the ambit of the national Judicial Standards and Accountability Lokpal.

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