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Lokpal Issues

  • Date Submitted: 01/14/2012 09:46 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.1 
  • Words: 603
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The bitterness, mistrust and acrimony of the past year must give way to greater harmony,resolve, and mutual respect. The nation’s self-image and self-esteem, people’s confidence in governance and India’s global reputation and investor confidence in the nation are all at stake. It is time to act decisively and swiftly

EVEN in the best case scenario, it is hard to persuade law makers to accept an ombudsman that will swiftly investigate and ensure punishment for acts of corruption and wrong-doing by those in the political executive, legislature and in the senior bureaucracy.
It requires great resolve, tact, spirit of accommodation, and pragmatic approach. In this case, all the players – the government, political parties, opposition, and civil society – committed follies.
The government failed to incorporate a few key provisions that would have inspired more confidence in the public; and wherever the Bill had good provisions, it failed to take its alliance partners on board, and also failed to effectively communicate the strong features of the Bill. Therefore its approach was reactive, defensive and delayed.
The parties that opposed the Bill indulged in cynical grandstanding, and allowed the impossible ‘best’ to be the enemy of the possible ‘good’. They allowed red-herrings like “assault on states” to dominate the debate and kill the Bill, and went back on the commitment of the Parliament.
The Civil society, instead of understanding the complexity of the process and showing respect, kept changing the goal posts and acted with unconcealed contempt and hostility. Now is the time for all players to take a deep breath, and spare some time for sober reflection.
The good & the bad
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill before Parliament does have certain deficiencies. The Ombudsman has no suo motu powers and has no investigative agency of its own. The fetters on CBI( Central Bureau of Investigation) and ACB( Anti Corruption Bureau) still remain in respect of cases not...

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