- Epic World Cup win \m/ and
- Anna Hazare’s fast and victory [regd. the Lokpal Bill]
Well, the most important change, is the establishment of completely independent institutions, namely Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in each state. Point to note, I guess, is that no minister or bureaucrat can influence investigations. They have the powers to initiate any action on its own, without any need of permissions from any other authority.
The selection committee seems to be broad-based. It is said to include members from judicial background, Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General, retired Army generals and outgoing members of the Lokpal. [apparently ensures that there is no govt. influence, whatsoever]
The CBI’s corruption branch will be merged into the Lokpal, which simply means that the Lokpal now would have powers to register FIRs, conduct investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code and launch prosecution.
Cases against the accused will be seen within 1 year and the trial will also be completed in the next year, thus ensuring that the corrupt politician/officer is sent to prison by 2 years. [that sounds awesome!! =D]
If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose fine on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
Yeah, well, that just sounds awesome, right? Feels uber-empowering. It like it is the one-stop, one-shot solution for the rampant corruption in dear ol’ India!
Its super that most of India voluntarily rose up to this movement, and has shown spontaneous interest in bringing about a desperate change in the current state of affairs. But, here’s the catch.
- The Lokpal has wide ranging, potentially destructive powers, from dismissing a case outright, to blacklisting a firm. With such unrestrained powers, all we can hope to do, is to appeal to the hearts of the panel members, and hope they are benevolent!
- The selection policy is really screwed up. Since the Lokpal is given such immense power, an important question is, Who will wield this power? As such, there is no way to make this selection, idiot-proof.
- Apart from the people mention in the previous section, Nobel Laureates (Indian origin), last 2 Magsaysay award winners (Indian origin) and Bharat Ratna winners will form part of the Lokpal. The first thing I found weird is, ‘Why should Nobel Laureates, who have spent their entire life, outside India, have any say in the Lokpal?‘ And whats the point in bringing in Bharat Ratna winners? Why not Padmasri awardees then? I found the selection way too random and senseless.
- Lokpal, apparently is to be a deemed police. They are also the court. Thus, they have, seemingly taken the security and judiciary positions as well, reducing the ‘burden’ on standard courts and police across the country. How can you confer such powers to a group mentioned above? Insane is a mild word to use.
- We are a democratic nation. Infact, India is the World’s Largest Democracy. Keeping that in mind, its outrageous that unelected people will take decisions on who will be arrested and who should not.
Well, that’s about it. I still, have utmost respect for Anna Hazare and I am NOT saying that he fought for a wrong cause. The Lokpal bill should be amended. It should be made more democratic.
It cannot blatantly seize property, shut down establishments or act as the court. It should, rather, accept complaints from the public, file reports, get evidences, and share it to the general public; the media and us bloggers will surely gobble it up!
If not, an important question would arise:
“Who will guard the guards?”
(*In the title, lemon refers to such a scenario. Looks beautiful outside, but may be sour inside =D )