MY DEAR FELLOW INDIANS

Saturday, 20 August 2011

MY DEAR FELLOW INDIANS


MY DEAR FELLOW INDIANS: A decisive battle against corruption has begun. We are not
against any political party. We want systemic reforms. We want a
corruption-free India.
After all, what are the people asking for – a strong anti-corruption
law which provides for honest and time-bound investigations and
trials that result in jail for the guilty, confiscation of embezzled
money and their dismissal from service?
Are we asking too much?
For two months, we were talking to the government.
Government seems unwilling to take even small steps against
corruption. Government appears insincere. We have met all
prominent political leaders. We have tried everything.
What do we do now? When I announced my indefinite fast from
th 16 August, the government threatened that they would crush us
the way they crushed Baba Ramdev's peaceful agitation.
Friends, this is a historic opportunity. We can't afford to lose it. We are determined to fight to the end. If they
arrest us, we will peacefully offer ourselves. If they use batons and bullets, we will happily lay down our lives
but will not leave the place. We will not retaliate. It will be a completely non-violent movement.
th “If you fast on 16 August, you will be crushed” – this is what they are saying. “We will impose section 144 on
Jantar Mantar” – this is what they are thinking. But I say that if every citizen in this country takes off from his
th work from 16 August, comes on the streets in front of his house, at the crossing, with a tricolor in his hands
shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and raising slogans against corruption, they will fall short of batons and bullets.
The government may arrest one Anna Hazare but how will they arrest 120 crore Anna Hazares? They may
impose section 144 at one Jantar Mantar but will they impose section 144 on the whole country?
And let me tell you – the police and army is with us. At traffic signals, policemen stop us, express their support
and wish us well; at Raj Ghat, the policemen donated generously for the movement!
th So, will you take off from your work from 16 August? Will you descend on the streets with me?
th th This year, the country will wait for 16 rather than 15 August.
In solidarity,
Anna Hazare
My Dear Fellow Indians
(Please make copies of this pamphlet and distribute it in large nos.)
The government's Lokpal bill covers about 0.5% of
public servants, yet it brings under its ambit virtually
every citizen's group and organization, registered or
unregistered, meant to serve the social sector. This
raises a pertinent question -- whom is the Lokpal really
targeted at?
There are more than 1.25 crore central and state
government employees. Out of this merely 65,000
Group A Central Government employees would be
covered in the government bill leaving out all the lower
officers and staff. This effectively means that there is
no remedy against corruption that a common person
faces daily in police, roads, industry, licensing,
transport, roadways, municipality, rations, health
services, education, pension, provident funds,
Panchayat, forest department, irrigation department,
etc.
On the other hand, Lokpal would have jurisdiction over
all NGOs, trusts, societies like RWAs, big or small,
whether registered or unregistered, whether they
Government's Lokpal is targeted against those who raise their voice rather than to punish the corrupt!
receive government funding or not, up to the village
level! For instance, consider a group of citizens that
unearths corruption of the Sarpanch and Block
Development officer (BDO) in a village. The
government's Lokpal can't take any action against the
Sarpanch or BDO but it can lock up the group of active
citizens. Each and every association, like Resident
Welfare Associations, Market Associations, even your
neighbourhood committees that organize festivals like
Durga Puja, Ramlila, etc. would be under the purview
of Lokpal.
While there is no disagreement that the rot of
corruption is also afflicting many societies, associations
and NGOs, there already exists a plethora of laws like
the Trust Act, Societies Act, FCRA, etc. to monitor
them. Lokpal was originally intended for checking
corruption in public servants. Regardless, if it is being
extended to all associations of civil society, then why
shouldn't it also cover all companies, businesses,
political parties, and media houses?
Government's Lokpal Provides Greater Protection to Corrupt!
Provisions in the government's Lokpal Bill heavily favour corrupt public servants. Under this bill, a public servant
accused of corruption is allowed to turn around and file a lawsuit against the complainant accusing him of filing a
frivolous complaint. The government will provide a free advocate to the accused to help prove the citizen was
wrong, while the citizen has to fend for himself. If the complaint proves to be frivolous, the minimum sentence for
the citizen is two years. But if the corruption charges are proved, the minimum sentence for the public servant is just
six months!
Will then any citizen dare raise a voice against corruption?
“GOVERNMENT'S LOKPAL IS DANGEROUS”
If the PM is involved in corruption, then CBI
would investigate, not the Lokpal.
(CBI directly comes under PM. How will CBI
investigate its own boss?)
Lokpal, which is an independent body, would
investigate PM.
(If govt.'s doesn't want PM's corruption to be
investigated, let them amend constitution upfront
rather than making a pretense of investigations by
CBI.)
A committee of three judges from same
court will give permission for investigation
against the accused judge. (How will
judges from the same court give permission
to investigate their colleague judge?)
A seven member bench of Lokpal will give
permission after an open hearing.
If a MP votes or puts up a question in
parliament in return for a bribe, then
he/she could be investigated by a
committee of other MPs as is the present
system. (In the past 62 years, many
instances of MP's taking bribe have
surfaced but not even a single instance has
been honestly investigated nor any MP
sent to jail.)
The investigation would be done by an independent
Lokpal.
Every department will declare its citizen
charter specifying work to be done, the
officer responsible, and time required.
However, it doesn't state what happens in
case of dereliction of duty.
(Today, any work like license, ration card,
business permits, etc. in a government
department requires the citizen to pay a
bribe. Why will the department change
from this modus operandi when there are
no penalties for non-performance?)
If the citizen charter is violated, then the Lokpal
would penalize the concerned officers, and the
penalty would go to the complainant as
compensation
Corruption of
Prime
Minister
Corruption
within
Judiciary
Corruption of
Mps
Corruption
Faced by the
Common
Citizen
1. In a ten-member Selection Committee,
six are politicians, of which five will be
from the ruling party. (This kind of
system will increase the probability
that a corrupt persons and those
favorable to ruling party are finally
selected.)
2. Selection process will be decided by
Selection Committee.
1. Selection Committee would comprise of two
politicians, four judges and head of two
independent constitutional authorities.
2. The Search Committee would comprise of civil
society members and retired constitutional
authorities.
3. A detailed selection process has been
described, which would be transparent and
have people's participation.
Selection of
Lokpal
Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Government's Draft
The members of Lokpal would be
accountable to the government. Only
government can file a petition in the
Supreme Court for their removal.
The accountability of the Lokpal members would be
to the public. Any citizen can file a petition in the
Supreme Court for removal of a corrupt Lokpal
member.
Only group 'A' officers of the Central
Government would come under the
jurisdiction of Lokpal, while the lower level
officers and the state employees would be
left out. (So where would the common
citizen go to complain about corruption in
licensing, Panchayat, Schools, Hospitals,
rations, etc.?)
All the employees of Central Government will be
under Lokpal's ambit. On similar patterns of Lokpal
, Lokayaukta will be set up at state level and all the
employees of state government will be under its
ambit.
Corruption
within Lokpal
Staff
Jurisdiction of
Lokpal
The CVC is responsible of protecting the
whistleblowers. However, the CVC neither
has the capacity nor the legal powers
required to protect whistleblowers.
It should be Lokpal's responsibility to protect the
whistleblowers. The Lokpal has been given sufficient
powers for the same.
Whistleblower's
Protection
The power to remove officers lies with the
minister of that particular department.
(Since the minister also gets a cut out of
the money that is taken as bribe, corrupt
officers are rewarded rather than
punished)
Maximum punishment for corruption is 10
years.
The decision to remove a corrupt officer lies with a
bench of Lokpal members which would hear such
cases in public.
The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
Officers senior in rank would attract stiffer
punishment.
Removal of
Corrupt
Officers
Punishment
for Corruption
The members of Lokpal would be
accountable to the government. Only
government can file a petition in the
Supreme Court for their removal.
The accountability of the Lokpal members would be
to the public. Any citizen can file a petition in the
Supreme Court for removal of a corrupt Lokpal
member.
Accountability
of Lokpal
Members
Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Government's Draft
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