Reality Check India

Jan Lok Pal – Caveat Emptor

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on April 6, 2011

Jan Lok Pal

Anna Hazare has announced that he intends to fast unto death until the Jan Lokpal bill is adopted. He has disallowed all politicians from approaching him. According to him and his supporters, this is a “non violent non political” movement.  Prominent supporters of this ‘non political’ movement are Kiran Bedi (Magasaysay – we will come to that shortly), Arvind Kejriwal (also Magasaysay),  Medha Patkar, Aamir Khan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Shekar Kapur, among others. Sure enough tonight various media outlets NDTV, CNN-IBN and others hopped on to this bandwagon. Civil Society it appears is feeling good about this bill.

It pains me to see thousands of young and impressionable Indians being sold snake oil.

It is important to separate the two issues here :

  1. The Draft Jan Lokpal Bill itself.
  2. The voluntary assembly of Indians unaffiliated to any political outfit all outraged by high corruption.

The second point first. Such voluntary and spontaneous assembly of Indians is something to be proud of. This is a great event for sure.  I have highest respect for Anna Hazare which makes this post a bit difficult to write.

The real purpose of this blog post.

Top 5 reasons why I think the Draft Jan Lokpal Bill is the most hare brained piece of document ever produced.

A Microsoft Word document of the draft bill can be found here. You can also search “Jan Lokpal Bill”  on Google and use the Google Document Viewer.

5.   Comparison with Hong Kong ombudsman bill is incorrect

Many supporters of the Draft Jan Lok Pal Bill are quick to drop Hong Kong as a reference. This is invalid because the Hong Kong Ombudsman has 1) no powers of prosecution  2) only produces a report and submits to the Chief Executive (like our PM) 3) is appointed by politicians.  The first thing I did after being confronted with the Hong Kong Ombudsman parallel was to read the whole Hong Kong Ombudsman act. I suspected a bluff. I simply could not believe that other countries could allow civil society nominees to actually initiate prosecution against citizens. I was right.

4.  Reckless in its promise and scope

An example is Section 10.2

(2) Lokpal, after getting such enquiries and investigations done as it deems fit, may take one or more of the following actions:

a. Close the case if prima facie, the complaint is not made out or

b. Initiate prosecution against public servants as well as those private entities which are party to the act

c. Order imposition of appropriate penalties under CCS Conduct Rules Provided that if an officer is finally convicted under Prevention of Corruption Act, major penalty of dismissal shall be imposed on such government servant.

d. Order cancellation or modification of a license or lease or permission or contract or agreement, which was the subject matter of investigation.

e. Blacklist the concerned firm or company or contractor or any other entity involved in that act of corruption.

In other words, from dismissing a case outright to cancellation to blacklisting a firm – the Lokpal has unbridled powers.  We can only  appeal to the merciful benevolence of its members.

3.  Police and court all rolled into one

It does not matter that Lokpal members are not trained to be policemen, but I invite you to read Sec 12.

We are police.

12. Lokpal to be a deemed police officer: (1) For the purposes of section 36 of Criminal Procedure Code,
the Chairperson, members of Lokpal and the officers in investigation wing of Lokpal shall be deemed to be police officers.

(2) While investigating any offence under Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, they shall be competent to
investigate any offence under any other law in the same case.

We are also court.

See Section 10.2

(2) For the purpose of any such investigation (including the preliminary inquiry) the Lokpal shall
have all the powers of a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 , in respect
of the following matters, namely:-
(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) Requiring the discovery and production of any document;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;

..

(3) Any proceeding before the Lokpal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding with in the
meaning of section 193 of the Indian Penal Code.

2.  The all important selection policy

Jan Lokpal Bill is open ended and confers unlimited powers. So it goes without saying that selecting the Lok Pal Members is the single most important task.  There are no checks and balances at all in the bill that would make it idiot member proof.   In other words, if the mainstream institutions have been compromised, there is NOTHING in the bill that would prevent the Lokpal from being compromised too.  It gets worse because of two reasons.

  1. The mainstream institutions (CVC, CBI, CAG, etc) can be turned around by people power every 5 years. That it doesnt seem to happen is due to there not being enough free agent voters in the system.  We can hope for a 20-25% increase in free agent voters which will straighten these institutions in short time.
  2. A compromised Lokpal will wreak havoc and lay to waste the other institutions. There is no chance of getting them voted out.

Let me try to make it clearer.

If Indian citizens wanted to get a compromised Lok Pal off their backs  – this is what they have to do. Study hard, do great research, win a Nobel Prize or work hard on social issues and win a Magasaysay Prize. Then and only then do you get to have a say in who the Lokpal members are.  Experience has taught us that such a system is bound to fail. Very quickly such an immune and isolated group congeal around a particular social or ideological position.

Adhoc selection criteria without rhyme or reason very prone to dilution hence ruining spirit of the bill

Here is who gets to select the Lokpal members.

5. A selection committee consisting of the following shall be set up:

a. The Chairpersons of both Houses of Parliament
b. Two senior most judges of Supreme Court
c. Two senior most Chief Justices of High Courts.
d. All Nobel Laureates of Indian Origin
e. Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission
f.Last two Magsaysay Award winners of Indian origin
g. Comptroller and Auditor General of India
h. Chief Election Commissioner
i.Bharat Ratna Award winners
j. After the first set of selection process, the outgoing members and Chairperson of
Lokpal.

The adhoc ness of this list will immediately lead to its dilution. Why on earth should Nobel Prize Winners of Indian origin , who are citizens of other countries get to decide the Lokpal members ? What is great about the “last two” Magasaysay award winners (Kejriwal) ? Why not last ten ? Why not Padmasri Winners ?

These awards cannot possibly confer powers to put other people in jail.

1.  Unelected people cant dont put people in jail

I simply do not want unelected people to have the power to put other Indian citizens in jail.

What I want

Lokpal should be stripped of its prosecution powers, Lokpal members cannot have a police rank, Lokpal cannot blacklist or seize private property, cannot conduct judicial hearings.

Lokpal should promote the democratic way of addressing corruption.

  1. Highlighting exemplary work done by people like Subramanian Swamy. Who would incidentally be ineligible for Lokpal, Chandan Mitra (also ineligible), various government servants and professionals (all ineligible because you have to quit everything).
  2. Promoting the wisdom that politicizing corruption is the democratic way.  If you are corrupt we gonna vote your ass out.  No bullshit about “larger issue of systemic ingrained structural defects”.
  3. Be a true ombudsman like your Hong Kong counterpart. Time for me to turn it around. By all means accept complaints, investigate, gather evidence, and produce a report to the public and to the state. We bloggers will pick it up.

People wake up !! This one is a lemon.

Wake up Lemon

Some lemonade to break your fast

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261 Responses

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  1. Kannan said, on April 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Respect!!!!

    • abhinav said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      I found this point valid and serious:

      “Jan Lokpal Bill is open ended and confers unlimited powers. So it goes without saying that selecting the Lok Pal Members is the single most important task. There are no checks and balances at all in the bill that would make it idiot member proof. In other words, if the mainstream institutions have been compromised, there is NOTHING in the bill that would prevent the Lokpal from being compromised too. It gets worse because of two reasons.

      1. The mainstream institutions (CVC, CBI, CAG, etc) can be turned around by people power every 5 years. That it doesnt seem to happen is due to there not being enough free agent voters in the system. We can hope for a 20-25% increase in free agent voters which will straighten these institutions in short time.
      2. A compromised Lokpal will wreak havoc and lay to waste the other institutions. There is no chance of getting them voted out.

      Let me try to make it clearer.

      If Indian citizens wanted to get a compromised Lok Pal off their backs – this is what they have to do. Study hard, do great research, win a Nobel Prize or work hard on social issues and win a Magasaysay Prize. Then and only then do you get to have a say in who the Lokpal members are. Experience has taught us that such a system is bound to fail. Very quickly such an immune and isolated group congeal around a particular social or ideological position.”

      I don’t agree with the following:

      “Lokpal should be stripped of its prosecution powers, Lokpal members cannot have a police rank, Lokpal cannot blacklist or seize private property, cannot conduct judicial hearings.”

      Ans:Like another IEM, CVC, etc who would make recommendations only (not to be bothered)??

      “Lokpal should promote the democratic way of addressing corruption.”

      1. Highlighting exemplary work done by people like Subramanian Swamy. Who would incidentally be ineligible for Lokpal, Chandan Mitra (also ineligible), various government servants and professionals (all ineligible because you have to quit everything).
      Ans: Please say no to govt. (respected) servants and professionals.
      2. Promoting the wisdom that politicizing corruption is the democratic way. If you are corrupt we gonna vote your ass out. No bullshit about “larger issue of systemic ingrained structural defects”.
      Ans: Be practical!!!
      3. Be a true ombudsman like your Hong Kong counterpart. Time for me to turn it around. By all means accept complaints, investigate, gather evidence, and produce a report to the public and to the state. We bloggers will pick it up.
      Ans: Then there is no need of yet another post, and then we must stay happily after this forever!

      • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

        Sorry my views are strong on this. I will not accept any system that allows civil society NOMINEES to conferred with judicial powers – there is not insufficient protection against abuse.

        I think a suitably empowered Lokpal with civilians can investigate and produce a report of high quality. Dont trash reports altogether – remember it is the CAG report that brought out the full extent of the 2G scam.

        So I stand by my post :

        1) Bunch of Lokpal nominees meeting cannot be at same level as a judicial hearing

        2) Nominees cannot have police powers

        They should have copied the Hong Kong Ombuds bill in TOTO. See link from my post. Will work here.

      • Abhay said, on April 9, 2011 at 7:14 am

        It is very well articulated.

        Of-course, we need to get the corruption out of the system. But is this the way to do it? The tamasha at Jantar Mantar is eye opening, where even a toddlers know what corruption is.

        We need to balance things out, and not let the pendulum swing too far one way or the other. Right amount of checks and balances are required, which the so-called “citizens charter” in my opinion does not provide.

    • My2cents said, on April 12, 2011 at 6:48 am

      Hello, I had a look at the Janlokpal bill & here are my two cents : –

      1.) No mention of prison sentences for corrupt members of Jan Lok pal bill including the chairperson, members & the employees & confiscating any recovered wealth as a result of corruption ? Why not, why the double standard?

      The bill seeks prison sentences for convicted public servants, politicians, private bodies & it seems that the court can also send a false complainant to 1 year prison sentence in case of malafide intent. However ironically nowhere in the bill & also from what I have seen on TV, the Jan Lok pal members only mention dismissal of corrupt lokpal members/ employees within 1 month. Why the double standards? Why does it not lay down equal punishment – If they seek prison sentences for others they should hold themselves to the same standard of punishment including seizure of any ill gotten wealth.

      2) No esteemed private citizens like Mr Narayan Murthy who have volunteered their services or new members of the civic society from outside have been appointed. All the people who are already connected to the Jan Lok pal bill have self appointed themselves as members of the committee in leading positions. On TV I have heard few of the Janlok pal members say that they are the most competent people to handle the bill., I don’t believe there are no other competent people in India besides themselves. If they had taken 2 new people from civic society it would send a signal that they are not interested in appointing only themselves!

      3) The chairperson , members & each employees of the Jan lokpal bill also should be made to declare their assets. There is no mention of this anywhere which is surprising considering that members who drafted the JanLok pal bill are mostly ex public servants & judges themselves.

      4) Why can’t anyone sue Jan Lokpal in a court of law? Again from my knowledge ( I agree limited & I may be wrong ), even the CBI can be sued so why is the Jan Lokpal seeking immunity – if their own workings are transparent & honest what do they fear. It seems Jan Lokapl members are happy to have double standards again when their own workings are put on a scanner – if their own workings & member / employees are found to be corrupt why can’t they be sued ?

      5) What is the approximate estimated cost to Indian tax payers in setting up Jan Lokpal, paying salaries & hiring new employees for creating this huge institution & army of new public servants at centre & state level ? A clause in the Janlokpal bill even mentions that :-

      This clause in the bill states :-

      “ (5) There shall be a separate fund by the name of “Lokayukta fund” in which penalties/fines imposed by the Lokayukta shall be deposited and in which 10% of the loss of Public Money detected/prevented on account of investigations by Lokayukta shall also be deposited by the Government. Disposal of such fund shall be completely at the discretion of the Lokayukta and such fund shall be used only for enhancement/upgradation/extension of the infrastructure of Lokayukta.”

      Again will there be transparency in how they spend this money, they don’t mention anything. ?

      Personally I do not like the idea of Janlokpal bill in its present form. It seeks to create new public servants & bureaucracy with too much power in hands of few self appointed leaders with zero accountability to anyone as I have pointed out above. I also do not agree with diluting autonomy of existing institutions of democracy, how can the JanLokpal be above the parliament & Judiciary, it doesn’t make any sense.

  2. Manish said, on April 6, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Ha ha ha!!! It means you want another branch of toothless CBI. Without fangs, it will be soldout like media in a day!!

    • Gargi Sharma said, on April 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      😀

    • NagaPrathyush said, on April 10, 2011 at 4:04 am

      lol 😀

    • Sanjay Kasat said, on August 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      It will be more dangerous if it has fangs and still sells out

  3. Vikash Pandey said, on April 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    You sure did highlight whats wrong.. but whats the cure? There can not be 1 simple answer to this… Good read!

    • realitycheck said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:27 am

      The cure is to simply vote this government out. You do this by voting for the main opposition block. It cannot be a collective national effort to make the “Congress & UPA” a better party.

      The question is not whether BJP is clean – the answer is that BJP did not perpetrate these scams simply as a virtue of not being in power.

      Why does this not work ? Because people are attached to benefits and find ways to rationalize voting for Congress. “How can we vote for the communal ?” is a common refrain. So the perception of being communal is deemed more important that real acts of corruption. The way forward is to promote the conventional wisdom that voting out is the right way forward. Not replacing this minister with that or half baked assurances from family etc.

      • Hemant Puthli said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:57 am

        and then .. rinse, repeat when the BJP also indulges in the same corruption? sorry, this is not a solution – this is a way to postpone the problem.

      • x@x.com said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:34 am

        > the perception of being communal is deemed more important that real acts of corruption

        It is not a perception, it is a fact. And how will swapping governments solve the problem?

      • The Wanderer said, on April 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        Vote out congress, and elect who? BJP? and paint the country in bloody saffron?

        We have been selecting the lesser of the two evils for long. Need to do something to destroy evil now.

      • ab said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        4 options are likely:
        1) BJP never come to power, grit your teeth and suffer
        2) BJP comes to power, indulges in corruption, suffer
        3) BJP come to power, is quite clean, be eternally grateful to them
        4) Deliver a tight slap to the government now so that neither congress nor BJP can f around with us ever

      • BG said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

        Is Realitycheck a BJP member in disguise? When the law won’t touch corrupt officers and politicians, vigilante action will take place and the Jan lokpal bill seems to be wanting to institutionalize vigilante action. Who is to be blamed for this? Not only the Government, but the opposition also. It is interesting to note that the Jan Lokpal bill specifies no actions to be taken againsy politicians, but we all know they are the root cause of rampant corruption in our country. Instead of Jan lokpal bill, I’d suggest an enforceable eligibility criteria and code of conduct for our elected (and nominated) legislators, which will ensure that criminals are not allowed to contest elections nor those who draw support from criminals. Those legislators accused of corruption are to be investigated by law enforcement agencies and prosecuted directly in the Supreme court. Once found guilty, the minimum sentence should be jail for life. Same should go for IAS / IPS officers found to be corrupt or bending the law or covering up misdeeds of others.

    • war said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      @the wanderer What do you mean by Saffron ?Watch what you are saying

  4. Dinipc said, on April 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Awesome Sir! Most people are confused and support Anna hazare and so called “civil society members” because they are outraged with the scams and the corruption under ScaMohan.

    In any case, Congress is never going to allow this bill to be passed as is. So, no worries.

    • srikanth said, on April 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      “so, no worries”????
      saying as if ur in the line of firing and scared that the Lokpall bill might get implemented

  5. vimoh said, on April 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Perspective.

  6. Ajan said, on April 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I have actually read the bill, but not completely. Probably it was too much extra- law-kinda- english to take in or probably I was vexed up with the fact that, better bills like this pass under right under the noses of our politicians who don’t even take a whiff of it since they don’t bother to read. But, when you highlighted the above mentioned points, looks like I have to give it another try to read and if possible try a bit of googling myself. Thanks for the insight!

  7. shakWrites said, on April 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Interesting points mate. Lets see how far this cookie rolls before it splits up.

  8. Barbarian Indian said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Fantastic post. Unfortunately, given the prevailing mood, none of this will get through to people. We must keep trying though.

    • Ventripotent.IH said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:12 am

      Surely as you said the Media will black out this and the people are on a high and will never bother to understand the nitty-gritty of these bills before holding candles in the streets.
      Joining online fasts is no way to ensure that the bill is passed.

      People are fools who are sold to what the media wants them to hear and see and think…

      I wish and pray that someone bothers to ensures these loop holes are corrected.

      Else if CONGress wins.. we have to endure UPA 6.0 too.. that is a scary option.

  9. AMH said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:29 am

    “In other words, if the mainstream institutions have been compromised, there is NOTHING in the bill that would prevent the Lokpal from being compromised too.”

    Of course, if all mainstream institutions are compromised then we can all go f*#k ourselves.

  10. drmannet said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Anna Hazare is clearly trying to depoliticize the corruption issue.

    “There is no faith left in politicians and bureaucrats and it is time that people be allowed to decide what they want,”

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fake-assurances-of-the-govt-will-not-be-accepted-Hazare/articleshow/7872271.cms

    This is not Libya. People are allowed to decide what they want every five years. The people of Delhi including the lynch mob at Jantar Mantar got a shot at this decision. They voted back a government that facilitated terror attacks in Delhi and remained paralyzed against the perps. They will vote back a government that facilitated 2G scam. They already did, and they will do it again.

    Anna Hazare is helping to depoliticize issue of corruption when the perps of the biggest corruption so far belong to one particular political family. In this, he is in the same side as the other villains, and for that, I have no respect for him.

    • N said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:32 am

      The people that brought the congress to power are mostly the people who were bribed to vote for them, not one, not twice but multiple times. The people from slums, if fed a plate of biryani and a bottle of desi daaru will vote anyone and that’s what happened. The rest of us Indians “ncluding the lynch mob at Jantar Mantar” are only to blame if they haven’t voted. And then again, this isn’t just a political issue, it is a people’s issue, an everyday issue. We brought them to power to “serve” us, not “rule” us. And if they refuse to do that, the people should get every right to pull them down. 40 years is too long a wait to wait another 5 yrs to vote another corrupt party. And do u think by doing that, the money thats already been looted is ever gonna come back??

      • manu said, on April 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

        Not just congress even BJP is doing the same crap. In the last loksabha and BBMP elections in bangalore, the votes are bought using money. I have seen it many times. People from villages floks to the city and they are taken to grounds and the money is distributed.

  11. aastha said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:33 am

    very interstung and relevant..uv highlighted d problems really well. But the solutions are d main problem! n whos to say voting the congress out and voting in bjp wid bring about an improvement? Wat if dey indulge in even worse scams!? Den wat remains the alternative?

  12. mg said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:46 am

    “Unelected people cant dont put people in jail”

    False, in fact elected people too can’t, don’t put people in jail? Even police cannot do that. Only courts can do that (and the judges are unelected). If Anna wants Lokpal to be able to put people in jail then Lokpal should be set up as an arm of the judiciary. If Anna wants Lokpal members to have the right of the police then Lokpal should be like CBI too. In fact maybe the current structure where SC is supervising CBI in the 2G investigations would be the right prototype for the Lokpal.

    There do seem to be misguided points in the bill. But I don’t share your extreme view either. The problems can be fixed by adding the requirement for the members so that they have the requisite credentials as investigators and prosectors and perhaps have the Lokpal follow the current CBI+SC structure.

  13. Shivkumar said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:54 am

    it is because of lemons like u…that nothing ever changes…go and get a life..

    • Niharika said, on April 8, 2011 at 5:59 am

      I agree with Shivkumar, and appreciate what you have written. But people like you are too cynical to change anything

      “Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”

      • dharadhar said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:03 am

        Right!

        Lets do the following. From today onwards we are not going to offer bribes. We are not going to let others offer bribes. We are going to raise our voice against corrupt politicians. We are going to take to streets to raise awareness against corrupt politicians. We are going to make sure that corrupt politicians don’t ever get voted again.

        Let us work in this direction, because our democratic mechanism already provides for this. Can we do this Niharika ?

        If yes, then why do we need a band-aid for a problem related to internal bleeding. If no, who is being cynical ?

      • Niharika said, on April 9, 2011 at 5:03 am

        Dharadhar –
        Let me ask you something – How many times have you actually done what you wrote about?
        It is easy to give GYAAN (free and often worthless bits of your own wisdom) to others when you are yourself not able to do much. But god forbid if someone is taking an initiative, bringing millions together and doing something about it! If you are not watching TV since past few days or not involved in your local Lok Janpal movement (kindly allow me to remind you) – people are ALREADY on the streets protesting/fasting against corruptions. People are ALREADY raising their voices through various media against corrupt politicians. Isnt that enough to see how much agitation there is?
        You can make a start from today onwards like you said.
        Hundreds of thousands of Indians have already started revolting. That wont have happened if so-called democratic mechanism pointed out by you was so efficient in its aim. The whole purpose of this movement was not to give corrupt leaders the power to draft the Lok Janpal and clearly, you didnt get its purpose.
        Organizations don’t change overnight or through incremental changes – such drastic measures are to be called if we want to uproot a corrupt system. Cynics like you make sure people dont rise up and always find a few errors to use it as an excuse to back off.
        India might not change in the next few years but this is a healthy beginning and a good sign for our generation. People like you should help in making the system better, not pulling the protesters back.
        Enough said……Anna Hazare and the movement is celebrating……lets see how it goes…..have a great day…..

  14. sceptic_ali said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:59 am

    reality check – since you are, so obviously, against this anti-corruption bill, shouldn’t you be sharing your real identity with your readers and mention your professional-political affiliations, if any?

    • Balze Mathew said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      +1..This dude is just another corrupt AH. Your days are over mate..

    • NagaPrathyush said, on April 10, 2011 at 4:19 am

      +2 mate!

  15. Hemant Puthli said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:04 am

    I think you’ve raised some valid concerns here. Why don’t you take your feedback to the folks that came up with this draft and help them improve it?

    Unless, of course, one of the following is applicable to you:
    1. You don’t believe such a reform is needed at all – you think we’re doing OK as it is.
    2. You believe such a reform is needed but you think that this draft is so fundamentally flawed that it cannot be improved, it needs to be redone – and not by these guys.
    3. It can be improved but these folks won’t listen to your feedback because either their motives are wrong or their methods are wrong or they’re just plain dumb.
    4. You really don’t care, all you want to do is blog about it and indulge in addabazi. And that’s such fun! Hey, who wants to do any *real* work?

    You know who you are, and you know what you want. As for me, I’d rather work with a lemon and see how we can get something from it.

    • upardhasaradhi said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:14 am

      Perfect, Most people raise issues, but not solutions. If there is a will, there will be a solution. If wtever issues u raised r real issues, why dont you approach them and say add more and more. thats wt people want, when the civit cociety involves in the draft process, there will be discussions, ur voice will be heard and may be some more solutions can be found. You cant just keep Questioning those people who wants to bring in some changes.

    • N said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:34 am

      Agree completely.

    • Praveen Peter said, on April 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Extremely well said Mr. Hemant!

      Dear Reality_Check! Yes your document has some valid points but your call that vote out is not the solution. Its a solution thats already there and miserable failed!

      The Selection of Lokpal needs an to be by a diversified ad-hoc group. No sense in asking ‘Why not Pulitzer Prize?’. If you feel Olympic medal winner is important, well fight for that!

      To fight corruption in India (with its kind of legal system) we need a herculean thing. The Jan Lokpal is exactly that. A Superman, which can give a wee bit of a hope. Empowering existing bodies wont be of any use!

      But the Lokpal is only against corruption not against any other crimes. Their attack will be against the ‘more equal’ only!

      Jan Lokpal need to be an unprecedented fourth Pillar democracy, ‘The Vigilante’, to watch over the other three pillars!

      • Vikram Bhambhu said, on April 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

        @Praveen i don’t doubt that its a great initiative, i don’t doubt that it was well intentioned but, thats not sufficient, bill has its weaknesses, u say u need a superman, well what do u do if lokpal itself gets corrupted today there is anna hazare ( who is not chairman of lokpal ) but tomm someone else will be how do u know they will not be corrupt, and this is not cynical, u dont call having precautionary stuff cynical, if u think such all powerful bodies work better than democratic means then why dont u go for autocracy and make some bharat ratna or some other award winning person king? Intent was right but bill needs means so that a common person can vote them out, and if u think voting doesnt work, well thats not democracy’s fault. Next time u think bad of politicians recall how many ppl vote on caste/religion basis, how many take money for voting( yes they might be poor and desperate and politicans may be use that to their advantage ). You must remember in democracy “so the people so the government”. Having said all that i still believe its a great initiative just that decision should not be made in haste and it should be evaluated, and whereas i dont totally agree that they should be made powerless but ppl should be able to put them out if they are known to be corrupt themselves(lokpal members). And they should make reports they should investigate but a combined panel of supreme court judges and lokpal members should handle major corruption cases, whereas lokpal members and lower courts should handle subsequently smaller corruption cases. this will restrict power somewhat and will thus be preventive measure to make them all powerful.

    • Niharika said, on April 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

      I agree completely

  16. The Other Side of Life said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Very interesting read!
    There’s a thin but distinguinshable line between Governance and Politics. This movement is confusing the masses between the two. A Lokpal will hamper the governance & institutions, while the politics & corruption remain. In the process, we may harm some important, well functioning institutions!

    • upardhasaradhi said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:11 am

      wt institutions u r talking? All institutions in India be it CBI,JCP,EC,CVC already diluted, so there is no institute left which is functioning well. 🙂

  17. Kumar said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Excellen analysis. Thanks.

  18. upardhasaradhi said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Well, there will be problems in everything and we can keep refining and add more and more requireemnts. if not the last two megasese awardees, add another two or add all. something is better than nothing. In today’s system, Governer , speaker or president decides and approves the investigation and if most of these r former politicians, there wont be an investigation. Wt happended in the case of 2G scam, unless SC interfered , nothing happended.

    u r only highligthing the problems in wt these guys r saying, but not solutions. it would have been more fruitful not to heighlight the issue, but propoe solutions to the issues.

  19. Bhanu said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Excellent. All the points raised are valid.

    For people asking what if BJP also indulges in worse scams you can vote them out after 5 years or better yet fight for “Right to Recall’ .

    NDA ruled states Bihar and MP have brought in the Anti Graft Law that empowers the state to confiscate property of public servants acquired by means of corruption money.

    Under this law in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, special courts would be set up in the state for speedy trials of graft cases against corrupt public servants.

    Isn’t this much better than the Congress’s show of removing Vilasrao Deshmukh post 26/11 only to reincarnate him as a Union Minister?

    • Robin said, on April 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Good counter-example. Atleast give the other people a chance to do something…

  20. Curious said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:57 am

    “I simply do not want unelected people to have the power to put people in jail”.

    You mean that power is to be given to elected politicians ? Then what is the role of judiciary ?

    • realitycheck said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:26 am

      Read the bill carefully and dont get angry with me.

      The bill allows unelected people (ie all Lokpal members) to hold hearings. These hearings are to be considered at the same level as judicial hearings. Sec 10.2.3

      So unelected people (angels maybe) do have the power to send people to jail under Jan Lokpal.

      • Ravi said, on April 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

        Good post.

        Why do you say that “The bill allows unelected people (ie all Lokpal members) to hold hearings.” is a problem? We have already seen what elected people have been doing..

      • ab said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm

        you keep waiting for angels to hand you deliverance, till then rant against everything and everyone

      • virumaandi said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm

        People are left with Corrupt vs. Corrupt to elect. – So you can elect only the corrupt.

        The corrupt select the judges, who work only for the corrupt. – So, the elected / selected judges are corrupt.

        The corrupt administration grows more corrupt executives – it is an eco-system there;

        Legislative is again filled with corrupt vs corrupt… This branch wants status-quo.

        So, are you saying? That we keep the status-quo and let the rot continue?;
        Or work with this draft and enforce some order?
        Or just blog for fun and forget?

        Tell us why the unelected – Self-governing angels – “Benevolent Authoritarians” will NOT be better than what we have today?

        Only those like the status-quo don’t like any change. I don’t have any such agenda. I would rather start with a lemon and work through it.

      • Goldstar said, on April 8, 2011 at 2:41 am

        But so does the judiciary. And they are unelected. So whats the difference?

  21. Akhil Rana said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:02 am

    I am very impressed by your manner of creating ambiguity in the minds of people who have woken after a long sleep vis-a-vis corruption in our country. My rebuttals are :

    1.You ask “Why not Padmasri Winners ?” ; well, the reason is simple, Padmasri are awarded by a selected committee appointed by the Government and so political influence will always hack the impartial working of the Jan Lok Pal. Barkha Dutt and Teesta Setalvad are examples of how citizens are bought for political use.

    2. Your idea of an ombudsman is replica of CVC that was in question due to the controversial appointment of Mr. P J Thomas as its Chief. So, i suggest you read the Act regarding CBI and CVC before you go out making ridiculous statements on the web. Every state has a Lok Ayukta and it was constituted as an advisory body to the CM, but, has now turned into another post retirement job for Judges.

    3. You say “Lokpal should promote the democratic way of addressing corruption.”; now really, do you even understand what you mean by this statement? If you do, pls put in some suggestions.

    I am sure that you have been deeply pained by this brave and bold step take by the Civil Society and India and the committee appointing the Jan Lok Pal has been planned to constitute members from all professional fields with excellent track record.

    Lastly, regarding the lemon, i suggest you shove it down your throat and support the movement against corruption, i am sure it would be the only best thing you’ve ever done!

    India please do support Anna Hazare and use your own brains rather than read blogs of unintelligible commentators.

    Regards,
    Akhil Rana
    Twitter handle @AkhilRana18

    • realitycheck said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:40 am

      Leave your anger aside. Read my blog for over 150 posts on corruption. Most of these posts have been written after I get home from work even when I am dog tired and it is 11PM. I get no monetary benefit not even fame. So stop lecturing me about corruption.

      1. What about Bharat Ratna ? It is also by a selection committee – we have Bharat Ratna Amartya Sen – who even gave a no-scam clean chit on 2G. Every politician from MGR, to Rajiv to Indira to JP have Bharat Ratnas. What about Nobel and Magasaysay ? They are formed by *Foreign* selection committees. Why not Pulitzer ? Why not Olympic Gold Medalists ? The point is these awards were never meant to be used as tickets to a policy role. Wont work.

      2. See the CVC appointment was pushed by PM and PC both of the CON party. The right way is to punish the CON party for such a malafide action. You will have a shot at it in 3 years time. You have many shots at showing your displeasure by voting against the party that did this to the CVC.

      3. The democratic way it to politicize the hell out of this issue.

      Sad truth is there is no such thing called “the state”. The state is solely represented by the human beings who are currently sitting in parliament who have been elected by the people. You cant address that rot by introducing a huge new department. What are you going to do next about a state that lets Maoists run free ?

      The solution is to keep iterating the process of throwing out – voting in – throwing out – voting in.

      • NonPoliticalView said, on April 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

        I certainly endorse the last statement in your post… ‘the solution is to keep iterating the process of throwing out – voting in – throwing out – voting in’
        my point here is, if the UPA is voted out of power and the NDA come in, the first question is… who will be the PM? do they have a leader who can hold the coalition together? I doubt that… what are the options.. LK Advani? its time his grandson graduated from college… Narendra Modi? he should be behind bars for the Godhra violence… Arun Jetly? Sushma Swaraj? who ever it is, all we know is that RSS will be governing the country.. have a look at the BJP ruled state and magnify the same to the national level and you know what you are in for…

        there are a couple of changes that are required in the Indian Political System…. retirement age of all politicians. Plz get them to retire at the age of 60… secondly, the right to prosecute the corrupt… once you have a transparent system, the rest will fall in place.. unfortunately, there is no political will to do so..

      • Vishnu said, on April 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

        Though do not agree with some of your view points, I really appreciate and respect you for taking the responsibility of reading and understanding the bill before giving your opinion.
        It looks silly to suggest a single line solution to the issue “Corruption”(it indeed is a larger than this) or changes required to the bill. There should be a careful scrutiny of the bill before it can be considered for implementation.
        It is really great that this movement made us Indians, assemble against corruption; unaffiliated to any political party

    • sam349 said, on April 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Dear Akhil, every citizen has the right to say what he thinks. However, for effective communication, the language needs to be used well. Offensive lingo blocks the message. We should be as far as possible impersonal in our discussions. All people here are here because of the common concern for the future of our children – -that’s what India is for us. We must have respect for all those who have expressed concern.
      On the other hand, your views are equally valid. You are clearly a strong supporter of IAC, just as me, being a volunteer.
      Let us not forget that Nothing succeeds in its first draft. Nobody has written an article, a book, a manual or any worthwhile document that was perfect in its first draft. So is the case with most bills offered for adoption as an act.

      So will be the Jan Lokpal bill. Some deeply concerned intellectuals made a draft. A deeply concerned Prashant wrote such observations that most of us had failed to see in such an illuminated style. Other concerned responders like Hemant Puthli, Bhanu have put forward their thoughts and suggestions. This is beauty of India you see.

      And mind you, such concern for the cancer of corruption has woken up us Indians before it has made any dent on the people of 90 other countries where the situation is perceived as worse. [Transparency International]

      So I would like to congratulate all concerned for the views presented and shared so that these points serve as eye openers and we can work to a better solution through valuation of the thoughts presented.

      However, above all, you will all agree that action is better than speech. We should hence appreciate the groups all over who are sitting on fast in support of whistle blower Anna Hazare and also appreciate the other side. Do not forget there are politicians who in heart of hearts strongly support a corruption frre India [Dr. Manmohan Singh like — probably he was one of those who raised the issue even before Anna Hazare. Only he could not have gone on a hunger strike — neither would any one else when you are PM].

      As one intelligent reader suggested, Prashant could join to construct a workable bill that would help both parties in the case.

      To be successful we need to think WIN-WIN.

  22. delhi_girl said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:13 am

    While I concur with the need for a strong watchdog body in the form of Lokpal, I also feel it’s naive to want to create a superhuman Lokpal so as to overcome the shortcomings of various other institutions. Lokpal should be part of a LARGER OVERHAUL of the entire system – including electoral reforms, independent central investigating body etc.

    If we have an independent and autonomous CBI, we won’t need to vest prosecuting and police powers with Lokpal.

    We cannot have electoral laws that allows so many criminals to enter the system and then want a Lokpal vested with massive powers to check that. Prevent criminalisation of politics by amending laws and then a Lokpal with moderate powers will work just fine.

    Reform the system of electoral funding. Amend POCA to make prosecution of bureaucrats easier. Have a separate fast track tribunal for corruption cases.

    I feel all these need to occur in conjunction. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket. What if Lokpal fails? Where do we go then? We would have created a Frankestein.

    Most importantly, as RealityCheckInd said earlier in reply to a post, we have consciously vote for Change. Today, the Congress party which barely received 20% of votes by 50% of the population that was voting in the first place, is plundering our nation.
    Why did the country vote for the party again when it was clear (1) Sonia Gandhi was the real power behind MMS and had never made so much as a TV appearance for an interview – no accountability to people (2) 2G scam was out in public (3) cash4votes was in public. What is it about being slave to a dynasty that we love so much?

    The example of Gujarat has shown that ultimately, it is the nature of the top political class that determines an overall corruption-free system. One incorruptible top man in Gujarat has ensured that even the lowest level govt. clerk hesitates to take a bribe. The Gandhi family was embroiled in the Bofors scam – why do we continue to vote for them? With such choices, do we deserve any better than the current government?

    Lastly, intelligent educated people must stop relying on media to form their opinions. It’s high time we realize that public opinion and consent today is completely manufactured. We have been made to believe things about political parties other than Congress that are not necessarily true. I truly believe that the people of India should vote for a CHANGE this time. Vote in a manner that a single political party gets majority so there’s no scope for ‘coalition dharma’. The Congress has been in power for more than half a century. It’s foolish to think that when we allow a single party to dominate, it will not spread its tentacles in all our democratic institutions to perpetuate its power. Indira Gandhi destroyed our civil services. Sonia Gandhi has sytematically destroyed our media, investigative bodies and anti-corruption agencies.

    Sorry for ranting 🙂

    Despite all that I said, I feel absolutely HEARTENED by the response to the Janlokpal movement, esp. by young people. As a youngster myself, I feel hope and optimism.

    • Bhanu said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:07 am

      Love yr comment

    • N said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:40 am

      +1. Right said.

    • sko said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:44 am

      Well stated. We need to fix the existing institutions that are supposed to do the job that this bill is trying to do. We don’t need another bureaucratic layer. Fix the judicial system (fast-track judgments should be the requirement), police (independence from reporting to political bosses) and CBI. That is the solution.

      Hope we can galvanize all this support for something meaningful.

      • Ponga Pundit said, on April 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

        And strengthen the electoral institution i.e. transparency in funding political parties, make public the records of candidates standing for election such as their businesses, incomes etc.

    • AP said, on April 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

      +1. Succinctly captures the real issue.

    • DebiMishra said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      Extremely well said. There is no alternative to a mutliplicity of insititutions and mechanims to combat corruption. Putting all powers in one would be akin to, as you have reightly said, putting all eggs in one basket. Thanks.

    • birju said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Very well articulated delhi girl.agree wid u 100%

    • Sirucat said, on April 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

      well said.Agree.

  23. CurryMan said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:22 am

    When Santhosh Hegde said that Anna Hazare could have waited http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1603105.ece … he did not mean what the author of this blog seems to imply.

    Wait for 46 years for citizens to have power over bringing corruption to light, it is a long wait but 46 years…is small compared to the scale of how long the British ruled India…

    But a 70 year old man, Anna Hazare has run out of patience. Why… nobody understands why ?

    What is the intention of this blog anyway ? Reality check, does it mean that we should be realistic and accept things as they are and live a fine life… certainly !

    • realitycheck said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:47 am

      This post is about the Draft Jan Lok Pal bill. They have successfully channeled public anger and made them rally behind a piece of document that is deeply flawed and dangerous. This is like pressure cooker valve – no one cares about the Congress corruption anymore. If they *grant* you Jan Lok Pal – then surely all will be forgiven.

      CON – the party that gave you Jan Lok Pal and the RTI
      Vote them in again

      — Seen many placards at rally like below —

      “Want our vote – give us Jan Lok Pal “

      • sam349 said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm

        Reality Check you clearly sound highly biased. I suggest that you just count the responses on your own blog in favor of Lokpal and against and see for yourself what the reality check is.

      • Sivaramakrishnan said, on April 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

        I agree with many of your arguments and observations. One area I would disagree with you is where you show your disdain about Non-Elected People being asked to run such institutions. My view is that every election is won by money, armtwisting and boothcapturing techniques. It is the wisdom of the fathers of the nation(!!) to have left total governance in the hands of the so called elected representatives. A Rajah is a elected rep. We all know what he can do with his election.

        I agree that Jan Lok Pal bill is not a solution but possibly would compound the process of governance. In my view the Constitution and government of India’s black /red book of Rules and Procedures have outlived their usefulness and needs to be redrawn. Why cannot have metrics of performance built into them? If the wealth generating industries, businesses and commerce can work with performance metrics why not governance of the Country? How can PM not know many things (Rajah’s episode, CVC episode etc )? How come it takes ages to enact any sound law including Loy Ayukta Bill ( 42 years to take decision!!). The framers of our constitution could not have been aware of the need to build lexibility and self review mechanisms in the Constitution or were they plain gullible to expect the elected reps to behave like saints and run the politics?

        I strongly endorse your comment that we need to look for systemic changes rather than cosmetic treatment to a problem which has gone into the marrow of this Nation.

        Jai Hind!!

        We need to come up with a new amended constitution that puts power in the hands of those who are being ruled. Rulers have enjoyed and ground this great country to dust by their greed, corruption, nepotism and dynastic approach. It is time the Ruled have some say in the laws that are framed to govern us – be it income tax, criminal laws,

  24. Puneet said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:29 am

    It is saddening to see you just raise questions and point out the fallacies of the Jan Lokpal bill. You should have rather done some research to come up with some good constructive ideas to improve it. Your suggestion of maintaining Status Quo and relying on the existing system doesn’t seem to be working and that’s what the agitation is about.

    I am sure 95% of the people supporting the Jan Lokpal bill will agree that it is not perfect. But, it sure is a starting point. The existing system is not obviously not working. So what do we do? Sit quiet? Hope that things will change? No we make a start somewhere. Start with a bad bill which shakes up the system and then refine it over time.

    • Jiggs said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

      “The existing system is not obviously not working.”

      Now you are being unfair the to recent spate of verdicts given by the SC on corruption, black money scams.

      The system is good, only thing we need is resolute leadership to run the system.

      For example, see Narendra Modi’s answer to this specific question during the India today conclave.

    • sam349 said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      You are so right Puneet!

  25. […] in India. There are several other issues that @realitycheckind has very well highlighted in his post, so I won’t repeat it […]

  26. Jiggs said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Superb job, I too had severe reservations, when I first read the basic demands by Jan Lok Pal people produced as snap shots in newspapers.

    That sounded like giving dictatorial powers to the Lok Pal. Like a parallel government system, which is simply un acceptable.

    Corruption is thrives under Congress Party run systems, this is a known fact. We are all outraged and rightly so, but that does not mean, that other parties cannot give us much needed respite from corruption.

    Let us all keep our heads cool and instead do what we refuse to do : VOTE, we get a chance every 5 years and we dont vote allowing horse trading of MP’s etc etc.

    Let us all vote and see how we elect a strong leader who will eradicate this malaise.

    • ab said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      What VOTE? who do you vote for?

  27. drmannet said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Request to people supporting Jan Lok Pal bill – please let us know how your voting decision will get influenced by the 2G corruption. We can go from there.

    • Bhanu said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:54 am

      Exactly the question that I wanted to ask all those who support this bill – did you vote in the recent elections? If no then why not?

  28. CurryMan said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:51 am

    RC, since you mentioned “Hongkong Ombudsman” I checked if that is toothless as you say. Hongkong has a very good record of low corruption. Reasons being given are:

    1. People of Hongkong have a low tolerance of corruption (in India, high tolerance)

    2. “In Hong Kong, the ‘Independent Commission against Corruption’ (ICAC) has been very effective. ICAC was given the power to investigate and prosecute corruption cases and engage in a campaign of public education. The government indicated its commitment by appointing a person of unquestioned integrity to head ICAC and also by prosecuting some important people” (source: http://www.aapssindia.org/articles/vp3/vp3c.html )

    It appears that Hongkong has done very well. Is it possible to have that in India ?

    I cannot accept that lack of corruption depends on who exactly is in power. We should have a system that will catch the corrupt and which the elected leaders cannot subvert.

    Can such a thing come to existence in India ?

    MKSS’s Jan-Sunwai’s helped to produce the RTI, though United Nations persuasion and international laws also helped (CONG can’t take credit for either). So why should not civil society be active against corruption ?

    Why insist that only elected people should ask for this change ? They are the servants of the people, and if they don’t do the job, the masters (the people) have to do the cleaning work. Right ?

  29. CurryMan said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Jiggs: you want to have “one strong leader eradicate this malaise”. What if that “strong leader” is corrupt ? Without checks and balances, they all go the same path. Cong party does not hold the monopoly on corruption. We can all be corrupt.

    So we need anti-corruption systems. The vote is a separate thing, that should be about policies, it is like asking whether you want toast or cereals for breakfast. The demand for no-corruption is like wanting your food on a clean plate. The plate should be clean, whatever the outcome of the vote.

    Is that too much to ask for ?

    • sam349 said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      I think not!
      However, we should realize that things cannot change overnight or over three months as recommended by JLP bill. Corruption in India is so deep routed that our students who experience such frequent exposure to corrupt practices have lost the sense to discriminate between what is ethical and what is corrupt. As specifically pointed out by you, Indians tolerate corruption, HKong people do not. This is a very good pointer toward our very cultural practices. Hence it is not enough to enact a strong Antigraft law akin to Jan Lokpal bill buit it is also important to define, point out, educate the people as to what is corrupt practice and what is not. How many of our common poor people in villages and less educated populace know that when a politician approached them for voting in lieu of some cheap gifts or money, it is corrution? They happily agree to a proposal that looks like good deal! You meet my need, I meet yours. What’s wrong in that? It is very hard to say no and curse himself in the night. They know the guy will be leader tomorrow and why rub against him?

      See the point?

      The scams we see today are only fruits of what we sow long ago. We need to nip the problem in the bud not cry over bitter fruit.

      And it takes time. It should start from our schools, our curriculum, training of our teachers, the parents and only then the corrupt politician can be put to shame by even a small kid who knows what is corruption.

      Thats where the next phase of the IAC movement should work. I feel proud of the youth and their supporters from all over India who finally raised the issue instead of being silent feeds to the menace. Hats off to the exhibit of courage. Please every one who reads this go and take a pledge at http://voteforindia.org

  30. abhivarg said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    You just echoed my thoughts on why I keep getting the feeling that the Jan Lokpal and all its proposed enactments closely relate to megalomaniac fantasies of idealistic (if not naive) minds? Anyway, thanks for the great read! You obviously know what you are talking about.

  31. B Shantanu said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Just one word, RC – Superb!
    I would like to post excerpts on blog and fb page – with full link-back and acknowledgement of course…Hope you don’t mind. Thanks

  32. Gandhicant said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

    The dramatically overhyped faith in the Jan Lokpal Bill by S Sabhlok

    http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/04/the-dramatically-over-hyped-faith-in-the-jan-lokpal-bill/

    Written by an economist…. if you suspect that Gandhianism can’t solve this other problem too, go read that ! Good intentions is not enough ! Hopefully something real can be done.

  33. manu said, on April 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Anna Hazare and the team is not asking the government to accept their bill as it is. They want the government to initiate to talk on that. Form a join committee and come up with a draft. Let the public discuss on it and then decide what should be the bill.
    But personally I feel the best part of this movement is not this bill. It is the movement of the society coming together for a common platform. And they all are united under the umbrella India Against Corruption. The facebook group had just 30K people a day before and now it go around 75K. Look at the response.

    I will say use this as a platform. Form vote bank for positive change. And if the momentum picks up, that will drive the change in India.
    Long live facebook!

  34. Prashanth K.P said, on April 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Lemon with a splash of Gin, can I ? Eh! Jokes apart, you have highlighted if not all a few of the ‘ifs’ & ‘buts’ – and that itself is plenty. So has been the comments too received from various sources, some for, some against and some neutral.

    My views are :

    As a dominant Republic which is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain supreme control over the government, real legitimacy for political decisions comes from the elected representatives and is derived from the will of the people – usually.

    When that goes wacky, in the sense that when the elected representatives begin to display vengeful absolutism, the people have limited choice but to go for measures that can somehow obviate further abuses.

    Therefore, if a civic body needs to be constituted as one of the several measures to safeguard themselves from representative malice, why not!

    But would this set a precedent for diluting the parliamentary democracy system that we have is worth a question to ponder!

  35. AP said, on April 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Respect!

  36. Sunil Noronha said, on April 7, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Isn’t the lokpal bill draft a draft and not a bill? These should be addressed point by point. You don’t the baby out with the bath water and there is not guarantee that the BJP will not be corrupt. The idea is to stem it wherever it is when it comes from our own lawmakers.

    • mg said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Exactly, 2 points:

      a) people seem to think that supporting Anna and the IAC means supporting the their draft bill. Please see Anna’s letter to the PM. He says, he does not necessarily want the govt to accept their bill but only wants discourse.

      b) people seem to think that Lokpal should be part of the democratic system or it should not subvert it. Indeed, it should not subvert democratic institutions but it should strengthen them. It needs to be like the judiciary so I don’t understand why people bring in the elected/unelected issue here. Yes, I don’t support having Indian origin and Magsaysay award winners but at the same time they do not need to be elected. They should be expert investigators/prosecutors (with a commitment to the law and the constitution) like the judiciary. The judiciary is not elected but it is part of the republic.

  37. Eternal rebel said, on April 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    A look at the salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill:

    1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

    2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

    3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

    4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

    5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

    6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

    7. But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

  38. Sanjeev Sabhlok said, on April 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    There is NOTHING MORE RIDICULOUS than to try to copy one TINY part of Hong Kong’s policy apparatus and assume that it will eliminate corruption in India. Hong Kong has one of the least amounts of corruption in the world – not because of its Corruption Commission (or whatever it is called) but because it adopted the world’s best classical liberal policies of freedom and good public administration. These people, who don’t understand the BASICS of economics or public administration, imagine they’ll cure through a LokPal Bill. That is a purely delusional exercise. Sounds nice, but like other socialist and ill-conceived policy claptrap, destined to make things worse.

    Why not implement the simple solutions I’ve been advocating since 1998, and particularly those suggested in ‘Breaking Free of Nehru’ (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/)? How hard is it to understand BASICS of economics and human incentives?

    • Ponga Pundit said, on April 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Sanjeev,

      There is a possibility now. Because of the government now agreeing to 50% participation by non-politicians, you have a chance to influence the civic society members of the LokPal bill committee with your ideas. Why not talk to them about your solutions?

      Thanks and regards,

      Ponga

  39. Vishal said, on April 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    @realitycheck:

    You really need a reality check… I don’t buy any of your points. It’s high time we should encourage such movement.

  40. Hemantkumar Sonawane said, on April 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Jan lokpal bill is want of time n it must be come in action

  41. IndianLiberals said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Glad to have stumbled upon your blog. You have provided a very fine criticism of the bill on the technical grounds.

    Many commentators here have asked you what the alternative solution is and I must say I agree with many others who have refused your alternative – vote for BJP. I believe that corruption is just one of the many symptoms of a big-state socialist political system and the only viable alternative is to cut down this big state.

    People are corrupt because they have too many powers over our industries and lives. Take that power away and they will have absolutely no reason to resort to corruption.

    • Bala said, on April 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Completely echo your sentiment on cutting the State down to size. I will go one step further to call for elimination of the State. Of course I’ll have people calling me names, but there it is. 🙂

      • IndianLiberals said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:50 am

        Bala

        A state-less world would be the stuff that dreams are made of. Unfortunately, we are nowhere close to living a dream. The closest we could get is ‘Liberal nations’ http://www.indianliberals.org/2010/10/liberal-nationalism/

        We are far away from even the idea of a liberal nation but even if we get there, we will need governments not only to represent our interests on the global stage but also to protect our own freedoms. But that’s about what I think the governments should be expected and allowed to do.

        How can we ensure a change in status-quo? Well, one way is to go through the political process to change it. The other way, as you mentioned below, is perhaps to take the ‘Egypt route’ and destabilise the status-quo. Whichever works. I personally think that India is not Egypt and it won’t be as straight-forward for us as it was for the Egyptians. Besides, there are many vultures out there waiting for some kind of upset in India and your way may just play into their hands.

        Anyway, I think I got carried away. But I echo your argument that this status-quo must change sooner than later.

    • sam349 said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      “Take that power away and they will have absolutely no reason to resort to corruption.” — and who will do that? Reality Check?

      Come down to reality my friend and sit with Anna on a fast! It is Action that makes dent and causes effects called result. It is better than words, intent or ideas.

      • IndianLiberals said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        Sam349

        The reality is that many laws have been drafted and many laws have been broken. The demand is for a new anti-corruption system because the current one doesn’t work. Another 20 years down the line, there will probably be another ‘dharna’ to demand a new anti-corruption law because the then existing law won’t work.

        To your question of who will do that – reduce the government power (and your sarcasm aside), it will have to be done by you and me. It’s our country and we elect the government. The only solution is to put the agenda of a small-state in front of the electorate, win the elections, form a government and reduce the administrative powers.

        It’s a long process, yes, but equally worth it.

      • ab said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

        absolutely, i am sick of these unending blog posts and rants which have 0 effect on the government,

      • Bala said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:53 am

        To IndianLiberals,

        I have an alternate suggestion – Reject the poll process completely, get enough people to boycott elections and thus deprive this tyrannical government (and State) of its fig-leaf legitimacy. In any case, government in its entirety is bad for the well-being of every individual. Complete boycott based on a rejection of the political process is the only means to pave the way for a social process.

  42. pc said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I agree with RC, the vote is the final weapon in a democracy. Of course it needs a lot of other conditions to succeed. Meritocracy, transparency, accountability, freedom (economic most of all), inner party democracy, free police, etc. There is no magic pill that will make democracy work. Its a slow process. If you dont have the patience, then throw out democracy first.

    The unstated logic that the people who support this lokpal bill use, is that the indian public has become so corrupt that we cannot expect it to vote responsibly. So democracy will not work. Hence lets have some eminent people on the lokpal who will cleanse the system. If they have so much faith in award winners, why not let this bunch of people run the whole country, get rid of all these costly elections.

    • sam349 said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      How many times can you vote in a life time? say if you live to be 86. Thirteen times. So you like to give the corrupt 13 chances to rectify themselves? And I bet you will have an exponential growth of the corrupt in that time. One time is just too many I believe.

      Act now. it is your chance. goto http://voteforindia.org and vote for India against Corruption and also take pledge that yoiu will never bribe. Needs guts and integrity.

    • ab said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      did you read a divine book which said voting is the ultimate tool for governance

    • dharadhar said, on April 8, 2011 at 3:00 am

      Precisely my point! Why give this eminent bunch just the powers to pass judgement on the elected officials ? Let them as well assume the responsibility of running the country.

      But more seriously, this particular govt, or any other govt will be the one that’ll be voted by US. The bunch of corrupt people don’t force themselves on us. We let them to. Then, having done that , why do we evade the responsibility of facing the consequences of our bad choices through an external agency which is supposed to take to task the people we have elected ?

      And for people who are saying, “Oh, but this is only criticism. What’s the solution?” does it imply that nonexistence of a solution means you jump on the first available non-solution ?

      If these award winners are so concerned, why don’t they use their clout to expose the misdeeds of the govt ? No one stops them from doing that. But no, we don’t want hard work. Just some magical bills which will ensure that corruption will automatically cease to exist.

  43. steve said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Nonsense ! You can pick holes in any document/proposal if you have nothing else to do ! The constitution of India was drafted as a fine piece of parchment that could potentially create the most powerful democracy in the world. An Emergency and a hundred + amendments later , it has turned out to be a piece of paper not event worth eating peanuts in !! Rather than ascribing motives, try to give credit where its do..Jan Lok Pal bill is not going be perfect. But then nothing in India can ever be. Ultimately the intentions of the people behind matter. And I would rather go with the intentions of people like Anna Bhau and Arvind Kejriwal rather than worthies such as Sharad Pawar, Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal, LKA and such

    • Sadasivam said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Any proposal for a new move, how much ever well thought out, will have lacunae. Even the constitution of India, drafted by eminent personalities, had to be amended more than 50 times. The Govt. brought out an over cautious escapist draft while Anna’s group presented an over enthusiastic one. When both exchange views an agreeable and sensible product is bound to be hammered out. The urgent need of the hour is to bring a mechanism to stem the riot of mega scams which are surging in quick succession recently.
      Early enforcement of Lok Ayuktha will bring in accountability to improve quality of administration and life. Pessimism will only lead to inertia of inaction.

    • RC said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      >> And I would rather go with the intentions of people like Anna Bhau and Arvind Kejriwal rather than worthies such as Sharad Pawar, Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal, LKA and such

      Sure. Then the democratic way to express that preference is to make Arvind Kejriwal stand for elections and we all campaign our hearts out for him.

      • steve said, on April 8, 2011 at 1:15 am

        precisely the argument that the British put forth to the agitating leaders about 80 years ago ! join the elections and be part of the governance – but we will tell you the rules ! Thank god they didnt.

        your fascination for the democratic principles is applaud-worthy. What we have is a shamocracy – where the Feudal landlords have taken over power legitimately , sanctioned by a weakconstitution, propped by weak and corrupt institutions such as executive and judiciary.

    • NARAYAN said, on April 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      Steve ,

      Your argument that we should admire and respect and follow the intentions of the people behind the Jan Lokpal Bill , is admirable ; but consider the worthies behind the Indian Constitution , weren’t they as great or as honourable ?

      If people like Ambedkar could see their ideals trashed by people like Sharad Pawar , what is the guarantee that the same fate will not befall the Jan Lokpal Bill , 10 , 20 or 30 years later ?

      • steve said, on April 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

        Narayan, thats the reason why we need to try new options..No guarantees that this wont turn out to be another disappointment in a generation time ..but status quo aint an option

  44. kuldeepk said, on April 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Dear Fellow Countryman,
    Your article has strengthened my stand against this hunger strike led by Mr Hazare. Not only this strike, any form of strike, dharna or morcha by a body of unelected people against a democratically elected government is a corruption in itself. Moreover, I strongly feel that Corruption is not a misdeed but a culture in India. And a culture can not be transformed by protesting against it on an occasion. A culture is formed by continuous following of certain customs. There are more peaceful and efficient ways to check corruption. Thank you

  45. Sakshi said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    This has give a Lot of insight into the Bill and the issue surrounding it. Thanks so much for posting it. I can now tell people to STFU and Think what they’re supporting before blinding jumping onto the non-cooperation wagon.

  46. Devil's Advocate said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Hi realitycheck,

    Good post! Agree wit you about the flawed bill.

    I have a Q on your last point:

    ” 3. Be a true ombudsman like your Hong Kong counterpart. Time for me to turn it around. By all means accept complaints, investigate, gather evidence, and produce a report to the public and to the state. We bloggers will pick it up.”

    OK, so bloggers and online activists pick it up. Then what? Say our prime minister is caught in a corruption scandal. And there is a huge amount of outrage. Do you expect PM to quit?

    • Devil's Advocate said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Take example of Karnataka. Lok Ayukta did a wonderful job of investigating mine looting. Produced a report. Nothing happened. Yeddy caught in scandals. Outrage. Nothing happened. So my question is how to bring about a change? Of course the mildest punishment Yeddy will get is he will be thrown out of power. But what about real punishment?

      • frustrated indian said, on April 9, 2011 at 6:44 am

        Lok Ayukta in Karnatak is working on behalf of the congress party, alongside the Governer.

  47. virumaandi said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    What I want?

    (1) Guilty until proven innocent;
    (2) Put them in prison after indictment; Release them if they are not guilty.

    Today not only the politicians, but the powerful bend the judiciary backwards and can do anything (illegal) and still stay out. The administrative branch and the judiciary are corrupt to the core. The existing organizations you listed are toothless and spineless.

    See what happened in Karnataka and elsewhere. You book the culprit, indict them, but what next? Do you want everyone to still believe the current judiciary? There is a lot to clean up there.

    So, what is wrong in Jan Lokpal being a “Police and court all rolled into one” ??? As a matter of fact, we need more.. “Benevolent Authoritarians” ..

    • Rohan said, on April 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      @virumaandi: both (1) and (2) happen routinely in the jails of India. Just not to the powerful

    • frustrated indian said, on April 9, 2011 at 6:45 am

      I think you are part of Sonia Gandhi’s Italian mafia. Prove yourself innocent. Till then ?

  48. Logical Thinker said, on April 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Reality_Check: I sincerely appreciate the effort you put in to write about issues like corruption. I think you have highlighted the weaknesses of the Lok Pal Bill very effectively. Your solutions, however, are a little into the gray area I feel. Having said that, I don’t rule out that we should cast our vote against the wrong set of people. the ability to caste one’s vote against the bad elements is one of the most wonderful virtue of democracy!

    I also agree that Lok Pal has to be stripped off of its Prosecution Powers. The system can go haywire if the wrong members are chosen to represent Lok Pal. Giving Lok Pal prosecution powers is definitely not a “fail-safe” solution.

    I was just wondering how powerful our Election Commission is.. At least to the extent I know I strongly think Election Commission in India is very powerful. All these investigative and policing agencies in India should be built on the lines of Election Commission which doesn’t have any prosecution powers but has real control over the way things work! And it is very evident that any son of a gun politician abides by the rules the Election Commission drafts. Also, the Election Commission is never under political-pressure since their(EC) operations are secluded from the politicians. Since they do not have any political pressure, I think, they perform very well in the tasks assigned to them. And as far as I can recollect there have never been blunders on part of the election commission. Why can’t we have a Lok Pal on the lines of Election Commission?? That way it wont be a toothless body.

    Hope I’m not sounding weird here. I’m just a young guy developing significant interest in the field of Policies and things so please don’t be hard on me. 🙂

    • realitycheck said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Sure Lokpal can be like the EC, it can also be like the CBI. Point is we have no idea which way the dice will roll. The risk is not worth taking because this body if compromised will wreak havoc with everything else that is working. You and I cant even get rid of it every 5 years.

      Your point about the EC is very good and kudos for being a young person who applies your mind.

      • Goldstar said, on April 8, 2011 at 3:28 am

        @RC,
        What does the draft lokpal bill say about the impeachment process and what is the term of the Lokpal? A good impeachment process (say with 67% majority vote in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) will do good so that a Lokpal does not get too much power?

        Also in my opinion, the selection process should be two step: A body of eminent citizens (as suggested by draft bill) can give a list of suggestions to Parliament to consider and every new parliament does the selection (on voting basis with again 67% majority). The term of the lokpal should be exactly 2.5 years so that every parliament term will have atleast two Lokpals (it will definitely be more difficult for the majority party to get two favourites).

    • Ponga Pundit said, on April 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      If the EC was so powerful, it would have succeeded in implementing the transparency in funding of political parties. It failed! Reason? Ultimately it is in the hands of the “elected representatives” to agree to the “recommendations” of the EC!

  49. PBRF said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Hello,

    Firstly we need to bear in mind that until we get rid of EVMs, or at least get a paper trail for EVMs, we cannot assume that our democratic system is functional.

    I agree that the Lok Pal should not have power to investigate “mal-administration”. That is too broad.

    It should also not have the power to order penalties, blacklist firms and modify contracts. If the Lok Pal feels that these steps should be taken, then it should argue for that in Court.

    However, it should have the robust power to investigate, similar to the powers of the police.

  50. ab said, on April 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    you dont have to live and die by the lokpal bill, if it doesnt work it can be discarded

  51. PBRF said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    ^^^ PS: Also, there is nothing wrong with the Lok Pal having power to prosecute. Investigate and prosecute yes – but judiciary should be separate.

  52. Seema Singh said, on April 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Yes, one cannot hold the government to ransom and get things done… maybe the lokpal bill is in the larger good of India but what if tomorrow I convince a bunch of high profile people to join me help form a new state or something like that?? The people of our country also need to improve upon themselves… for instance read this http://www.wahsarkar.com/?p=180

  53. Mindspeaks said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I have gone through the reply of some people. I would sugguest all who has made the comment on this blog should focus on to remove the curruption rather showing one’s own inteligence n blog (digitally). its because we youngster do not take interest in this area(change) . this is the reason that Mr Hazare has to come out. Please read the histroy of MK gandhi, Sardar Patel , Vivekanad , Bhagtsnih,. These are the examples of youuth taking interest in chnage , revolution. Stop showing ur view on thisi but come out from your digital life , and do something for ur county. Please Write somthing which motivate all youngster of india who still twittring, orkuting, facebook. Why Conggress ? WHy BJP ? form new party of youth (Engineer, MBA ) .I urge all who is reading this blogs and puting their coment on this issue, Please So something by your self . Start Revolution. We do fun through orkut,Facebook and also meet somtimes but we never have idea ot forma party through the technology. We all can do but all of us want to wite their own blog and comment . Its very easy to write ut do one day FAst lie Mr Hazare that to of for others interest. At 72 age he has not interest of course but for the nations interest.

    For those who suport Congress and believe Thta BJP is also same … Please note BJP is bteer than COngress. Please Search Rahul Gandhi on google , you will come to know who is he ? Please also try to search sonia gandhi – swiss bank and russiia ? Congress is always person oriented party . Rules by Gandhi family while atleast in BJP all leader are come thir talent but not on thir family history or fathers name…. I am also not suporter of BJP. Please also have a look to Gujarat. How well Mr. modi is doing….. We also should suport a person like modi for future P.M. Jai Hind….. Wake Guys from digital life !!!

    • steve said, on April 8, 2011 at 1:20 am

      BJP is a confused party led by incompetent executives. Congress has no great track record either but at least Sonia has driven the party to bring in RTI, NREGA ( flawed execution but good intention), Food security bill etc. BJP doesnt have a clue about governance ( MP, Karnataka are shining examples)

      • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

        Fine, then I respect your decision to support Sonia. You have obviously weighed corruption against benefits of RTI, NREGA and have made up your mind.

      • steve said, on April 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm

        Hi RC ( below)

        Unfortunately Congress is unable to maintain its monopoly on corruption. Yeddy, Chauhan and Raman Singh , and those goons that run Jharkhand ( with Sri Sri Shibu Soren’s support) are doing a great service giving Sonia and her cohorts sleepless nights with their immense talents !!!!

  54. Mindspeaks said, on April 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Its Very easy for us to speak and write but do one fast or else Please suport Mr. Hazare….

    • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      I support Hazare and I support you.

      I will NOT support the draft JAN LOK PAL (even if they are showing us an inflated version) bill around which this whole movement is centered.

  55. […] Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by Anna have been highlighted by observers of the protest movement. (Read here, here and here). Skeptics have also raised concerns regarding the larger implications of the […]

  56. Saksham Agarwal said, on April 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    A good post that highlights some of the fallacies of the bill.

    But I’m looking for solutions here. You say that India needs to vote for change. I agree with that as well. But is that happening? Is it going to happen? How can the entire population just change the way it votes? And if it can, then why hasn’t it happened already? Can you tell me how you would like to make it happen, if given the responsibility?

    Saying that India would have a better Government if everyone voted is like saying that India would be a member of the OPEC if everyone worked at an oil rig.
    Our political system lacks good leaders. Our population does. And that is where the problem lies.

  57. Saksham Agarwal said, on April 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    A good post that highlights some of the fallacies of the bill.

    But I’m looking for solutions here. You say that India needs to vote for change. I agree with that as well. But is that happening? Is it going to happen? How can the entire population just change the way it votes suddenly? And if it can, then why hasn’t it happened already? Can you tell me how you would like to make it happen, if given the responsibility? Is it not fair to say that a new system needs to be given a try, at some level?

    Saying that India would have a better Government if everyone voted is like saying that India would be a member of the OPEC if everyone worked at an oil rig.
    Our political system lacks good leaders. Our population does not. And that is where the problem lies.

  58. […] inconvenient to address.  Of these, articles and blogposts by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Offstumped and Reality Check India deserve special mention (as does Mr. Mehta’s 2010 essay, “What is Constitutional […]

  59. Aditya said, on April 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    What is wrong with the Lokpal having powers of prosecution. We can have separate courts to try corrupt ppl in the court of law. If the Lokayukta is headed by a Justice of law there is nothing wrong with it having powers of prosecution.

    I agree that ppl have to vote out corruption, we all want it, but hey if people were that perfect we do not even need the Police. You are talking of a situation far different from the reality in India. Given how much corruption we have in politics we do need a Lokpal with prosecution powers.

  60. aswati said, on April 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    so u basically want the lokpall that the govt. introduced to be passed and leave it all to the mercy of the government while they take years to bring cases on trial and give justice.. why they still havent given jurisdiction on the Kasab case yet, when do you think ppl who do outright corruption right under our noses are gonna be punished?

  61. aswati said, on April 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    and besides havent we seen enough of BJP and congress govt to know if they are corrupt or not?.. what gives us the assurance that bjp or congress or any politician is gonna turn over a new leaf and provide a clean country??… new suggestions can be made to amend the jan lokpall bill but condemning it and the movement all together serves no solution.

  62. Indian said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:10 am

    And who is going to monitor corruption among Lokpal members?

    People already have the power to stop corruption by means of a “VOTE”, which unfortunately they will SELL for a meager Rs. 500 or Rs.1500 given as a bribe by a political party during election time?

    No amount of more and more organizations are going to help stem corruption.

    The solution lies ONLY in SPIRITUAL values, if one can FEEL, LOVE and WORSHIP, INDIA as GOD HIMSELF it will be impossible for such a person to be corrupt. Out of LOVE for the NATION ALL other virtues will come in a person.

    If we are really sincere about rooting out corruption, what we need is SPIRITUAL knowledge that we are ALL ONE. Meaning, when we cheat, kill, rob another person, then we should ask whom we are stealing and robbing from? One finds the real answer given in Bhagavad Gita that we are actually cheating OURSELF when we cheat others. If one gets conviction in this truth then such a person will no longer cheat others.

    We should recognize that this MAD MATERIALISM is an intruder not only on the path to spiritual knowledge, but materialism is an intruder in science also.

    So if you want to fix corruption in INDIA, first of ALL we OURSELF MUST become exceedingly PURE and MORAL, then just by presence of such persons the next generation WILL also be influence to be exceedingly PURE and MORAL. And like this it will take about 60 years for corruption to lessen.

    Current situation is parents are themselves always desirous of more and more wealth and sex even after having a decent home and after having 1 or 2 children. Parents should reduce desire for wealth and lust/sex once they have made some money, have a flat/home, and 1 or 2 children. Unless this is done, we can talk, talk, talk but situation will be same.

    Best Wishes to ALL.

  63. Top Posts — WordPress.com said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:10 am

    […] Jan Lok Pal – Caveat Emptor Anna Hazare has announced that he intends to fast unto death until the Jan Lokpal bill is adopted. He has […] […]

  64. rose said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:25 am

    @Indian : Pls watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoYiYes01MU..
    if we be skeptical of everything then we shdnt have had a government in the first place… how would we be sure that they wd do what’s good for us? how wd we know they would voice what the majorities want? why not each one rule oneself and do good and be good?

  65. arvinddilu said, on April 8, 2011 at 3:28 am

    There was a similar movement in Bihar about 35yrs back called JP movement. And final outcome was advent of Lalu Pd Yadav. Jp had also strong credential just like Anna. People were fed up of corruption as they are now. But it did not help and I doubt it will help now.
    I feel root cause is our process of election. Each segment of election like MP or MLA is too big and it requires huge money to fight election so for election money is required. Where would money come from?- corruption.
    If the size of geographical area of MLA or MP is reduced then quality of poltician /election would improve.

  66. […] Jan Lok Pal – Caveat Emptor by realitycheck on realitycheck.wordpress.com […]

  67. Aditya Nayak said, on April 8, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Hi there,

    Really liked your post. I have compiled a list of top 15 posts on the issue and I included yours too. Here is the link:

    http://www.adityakumarnayak.com/2011/top-12-resources-on-anna-hazares-fast-corruption-jan-lokpal-bill/

  68. rose said, on April 8, 2011 at 5:03 am

    one thing.. it has been mentioned that the jan lokpall will be transparent in its proceedings unlike the lokpall bill proposed by the governmnt and if a person who is within Lokpall is found to be guilty of corruption it will be investigated immediately adn the punishment would be sorted out within a month.. the best thing abt the jan lokpall bill is the time frame limit it gives to all judicial proceedings.. and yes we do need something strict as this and working separate from the government (which everybody knows is corrupt) to do some good. and yes we do need for it to happn overnight.. enough of waiting… there are several whistleblowers who have been meurdered (Satyendra Dubey an iitian is one i ll never forget, the prime minister included being involved)..with the CWG games and the 2g spectrum case how much more of open corruption are u willing to stand and keep waiting for the government to do something?.. i know that not everyone votes but there is also a huge population below te poverty line who are gulliable and willing to believe anything the politicians say and ask them to do.. and no sorry but blogging and reading blogs doesnt do any help to them….

    • rose said, on April 8, 2011 at 5:05 am


      check it out

    • dharadhar said, on April 8, 2011 at 5:52 am

      Who will decide if the member of the Jan Lokpal is guilty or not ? What if they don’t decide it correctly ?

      At least in the current scenario of elections when you know that the current MLA/MP isn’t performing you have the power to vote him out. If you feel passionate about it, you are free to raise awareness about the issue with people who have the right to vote such an MLA out. There is a well defined exit strategy at least in theory.

      Now, if by some possibility , and I hope you are not denying this possibility, Jan Lokpal is compromised, how do you plan to get rid of it ? There is no well defined exit strategy, even in theory. Unless of course you feel that winning a Nobel or a Magsaysay is easier than convincing your fellowmen to vote against the corrupt minister.

  69. Shubham Gupta said, on April 8, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Dear writer,

    The demand of Anna Hazare is to not to bring the Jan Lokpal Bil in it’s present forl but to bring a strict anti-corruption bill. The Jan Lokpal Bill is open to suggestions.

  70. Njjain said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Good one. I have also read the bill and felt that it is loosely worded in many places. It uses generic terms like maladministration. If a officer does not follow a process it may be argued that it is maladministration if the end result is good. The complex function of governance require a law after much debate and discussion. further what if some misuses the law and compliant against honest officers. should not there be a punishment for frivolous complaints. The fight against corruption has to start by each person in his day to day life. Just getting the bill passed would not solve the problem. we the people need to have courage to say no to corruption and have courage to complaint. how many of us do that is the question that needs to be answered.

  71. ajit said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Brilliant piece dude…. Hats off!
    “I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to that pitch of presumption, to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases….. A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.” Edmund Burke

  72. raja said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Nobody is claiming that the Jan Lokpal Bill is perfect. Even Kejriwal admitted that this. And yes, there are some provisions like the sweeping powers of the Lokpal and some of the selection criteria that need fine-tuning.

    But I find that in your blogpost, you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. By highlighting some of the weaknesses in the proposed Bill, you are making for a case for status quo.

    We have seen status quo for 60+ years – AND IT HAS NOT WORKED. If anything, corruption has only grown exponentially in the last few years.

    So it is clear that it is HIGH TIME a strong, punitive law is put in place. One that is an extremely strong deterrent for corruption.

    That is ALL civil society is asking for.

    “Voting in, voting out” is not an option because only the face changes. Each new person/party continues to loot because there is no strong deterrent.

    As for specifics like “why TWO Magsaysay winners”, why not “Padmasri awardees”, to be honest, I couldn’t care less whether it is TWO or ALL.

    The whole idea is to get people who civil society trusts as people of high integrity. Unfortunately even Padmasri awardees do not, purely by virtue of their award-winning, command a level of respect amongst civil society. The Magsaysay awardees are internationally-recognised contributors to society and therefore have higher credibility amongst the public. Of course there may be rotten apples anywhere but overall, we need to look at criteria that gives the public maximum confidence.

    FWIW, I do not expect the Jan Lokpal Bill to be accepted in its entirety. I do think there will be some modifications that may address some of the points you bring up but overall, the Bill is likely to have much more teeth than the current government Lokpal Bill.

    So while I do respect your entitlement to express your opinion on your blog, I find myself agreeing more with Anna Hazare’s methods and purpose and would not want to discourage anybody from participating in the movement.

    Your blogpost now is creating doubters amongst civil society – and I don’t think that is a good thing. Yes, you can warn civil society to say that some provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill are worth challenging. Fair enough. But your dismissing it altogether and advocating effectively a status quo is something that, given how difficult it is to awaken the masses in India for a cause like this, is doing a disservice to the nation IMO.

    But then, to each his own, I guess.

  73. […] Reality Check does an impressive job with deciphering certain salient points of the Bill. Read here. […]

  74. conrad syiem said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Look at what democracy has carried us thus far. Perhaps we should also do away with our system and see where it goes. I’m sure the Jan Lok Pal is being pursued with the best of intentions and it is easy for us to place the consequences of such a bill based on our varied perspectives.

    In the meantime, the Jan Lok Pal as it is received by the common man is a better choice then all the ambiguities and doubts that carry no alternatives to their perceived problems.

  75. ketan said, on April 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Anna Hazare and people of India raising their voice for the corruption free India, I agree present Lokpal bill has some loop holes and doesn’t fit to current situation completely. But still it’s helpful to control the corruption rather then noting in present situation. At present we don’t have any laws to control the corruption not punish the corrupt person.
    We all know about Sukhram, Madhukoda, Raju in the past and Raja in present what happened to then and how it’s doing with Raja most of them are still enjoying their life as it is.
    And as true Indian we always have criticized and shown disfaith to the person who is try to do something good, remember the Right to Information act, similar set of so called intelligent blogger (foolish) has marked questions and criticized the intention, because their shops are running with that.

  76. murali said, on April 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I think this is another freedom struggle for future generations we must clean corruption

  77. Chris Avinash said, on April 8, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Reality check!!
    At this point its all we’ve got. I’d like to jail Bharo or light a candle or march or scream myself hoarse if the people who are behind this are as smart and (maybe) driven as you – but since you are NOT out there taking the flak – i’ll just take my chances with the spirit of this thing…!
    Nice systematic breakdown of the draft though!!

    • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Trust me Chris I understand exactly what you are saying.

      I will support this movement 100% including Jail Bharo – but will NOT rally behind a movement around the Jan Lok Pal draft bill.

  78. Common Hindu said, on April 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Jai ho…..Reality Check India ki…..Jai ho!!!

  79. gopal said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    What do you think political parties were doing all these years – simply BYPASSING THE LAWS, ETHICS for their own benefits. So if ANNA & IAC want to do it for a good cause, these guys are showing them the regulation book and telling “Sorry folks, not possible”. This is simply BULLSHIT & HYPOCRITE face of govt. How many politicians will be Happy to draft and pass a effective Anti corruption mechanism democratically. Hazare might be well aware that Anti corruption system in India is not possible democratically and he is not nuts to put on stake what his Role model demanded. He is using Shivaji’s Sword with Gandhi.

    Like is said earlier “Replacing a monster by another”. But IAC has told that they want a Strong Lokpal and thus are demanding a Joint DRAFTING committee. What i think is they created is the EXTREME version knowingly as they were well aware that there will be some bargain from govt. side & thus they created an Extreme version i.e. A Monster to counter that bargain and get a powerful enough Lokpal. I dont think they (IAC & Annaji) are senseless guys BUT I smell a little politics with politicians for good cause if i am right.

    • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      Are they then showing us the “inflated” draft bill while keeping enough chips with themselves ready to be traded ? What provisions are they ready to trim ?

      Even politicians do not indulge in such bait and switch.

      • Ponga Pundit said, on April 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

        “Even politicians do not indulge in such bait and switch.”

        Are you really from India???

      • peggy said, on April 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        Seriously, are you from India? Every advanced nation in the world does the “Bait and switch” as you call it. Have you heard the promises people make at election time? And then do you see what they deliver? Is that not bait and switch?

        Look, I understand you are trying to provide an alternate perspective and it is indeed well written. However, words on a blog are not going to get us a bill. And since you have shown us your medical knowledge by letting us know that fasting intermittently is good for us – thank you, we are from India, where moms and grandmoms and assortment of relatives fast on Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday, etc. for reasons like ‘just because’ – isn’t the drama what brought us together? Better than self-immolation bids wouldn’t you say? EVERY citizen knows that there will be negotiations – EVERY citizen has shown something has to be done to reign in our corrupt politicians. Let’s get a start on this Bill that is at least better than everything the Government has ever proposed.

  80. Rahul said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Reality Check,

    It’s a nice article. Good to see some analysis rather than some repeat quotes. There are a few points I would like to put down.

    Yes, we can elect the government and throw these people out every five years. THEORETICALLY. Look at the money muscle congress has. I will not talk about 2G scam as it is only a presumptive figure and we shall never know how much was actually taken as bribe. I shall focus on Common Wealth Games. CWG reportedly cost us, the people, 70,000 crores (source:outlook)

    http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?700710

    Compare to Asian Games held in 1982 at Delhi which cost a mere 55 crores.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/aiyar-&-kalmadis-tugofwar-slowing-preparations-for-games/6321/0

    Few factors in consideration:
    Given that 30 years gap is there, the cost will go up.
    Asian Games is far bigger the commonwealth games.

    Given these thiongs, one can say the cost can go up by 100 times (including allowance for nominal corruption)

    But the cost has gone up by more than 1000 times. (I wonder about our income and our own household expenses). More significantly, the exchequer has disbursed the money to the organisers (read politicians, career and otherwise). That is a cool 65000 crores into the pockets of various congress politicians.

    With so much money from a single scam, do you think you can realistically throw out the government democratically?

    And see what happened to Praja Rajyam Party. Simply bought over. COOL…

    I do not think there is any alternative to Congress and BJP. Given Congress has swindeld and brazenly swindling mind boggling amount tpo the current day, let us give some credit to BJP who are fighting it out with meagre means. I do not think anyone else can up in a short time.

    I am not being a defeatist. But a realist. These are the only two options in the foreseeable future. No hanky pankies. If we are afraid that we shall create an extra constitutional bodies, then the current process also is met with the same fate except for political vendetta.

    A. Raja’s nephew died today of heart attack at the age of 30. Any takers to fight corruption publicly.

    Yes, we need some other alternative. Yes, the draft Jan Lokpal bill needs some adjustment. Since the Congress Lokpal bill is at one extreme of no use (not actually, Gandhi family can use it as toilet paper) the starting pointof the rebuttal has to be on the other extreme. Then only it can be met on the middle which is acceptable to us. If we start with the correct version of Jan Lokpal bill, we have to give up some ground in the favor of Congress.

    That is my thinking. Yes, we may include a few principles from Arthasastra here. Chanakya wrote long time back that the the punishment for the same mistake by a government official shall be 10 times that of ordinary citizen as he is trusted with the welfare of the public. We shall add that the punishment for Jan Lok Pal committee members, if they are found guilty, should be 100 times so as to discourage the misuse of public office.

  81. Rajath Shetty said, on April 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Your theory is based on simply one point – corruption of the core committee itself. Therefore, I agree with you on making the selection of the committee the most important step. However, you are wrong about the powers this committee should have. If you think about it, removing these powers from such an entity makes it NO different from the media which, unarguably, is well represented. If you want to put fear in the minds of the perpetrators you need POWER because if you don’t they will use theirs to put you out of contention. Besides, even in case of the corruption of the core committee with powers, an innocent man won’t be affected but justice would, no doubt, be skewed which would be the case even with a committee without powers.
    So, your post would be misleading for the same “impressionable young people” you talk about especially since “your” solution is what is quite similar to something we already have in the media.

  82. Sheena said, on April 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Let us first be clear that the malaise runs very deep.

    After all, It can fairly be said that *most* of our government employees today paid a bribe to get their respective jobs ~ i.e. corruption was/is a required pre-qualification.

  83. unbiased view said, on April 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Don’t make a view without going through the whole draft. People tend to believe what is fed to them through media. First go through the draft and then decide whether you’re for the draft or against it.

    I went through the whole draft (28 pages long, available at annahazare.org) and believe that the draft is flawed. I do not doubt the intention of people behind this movement but the more I think about it the more I believe that something is not correct.

    The draft gives unlimited power to the Lokpal group, may be more power than a prime minister has. Lokpal wants to be court as well as police which is simply unacceptable.

    Here’s couple of points which I cannot digest:

    1) Once the Lokpal decided X person is corrupt and has caused a loss to the nation they have a right to recover the loss. Till here it is alright. But the draft states that the recovered money will be placed in a separate fund in the name of Lokpal and will be at the disposal of Lokpal group! It states that the amount will be utilized to expand infrastructure of Lokpal but we have seen in CWG that even a cheap instrument could cost lakhs of Rupees! So this cannot be allowed. For example approximate 2G spectrum scam loss of 50k crore will be put in the account of Lokpal and will be at their disposal! How can we allow this?

    2) The draft states that it’s decision cannot be challenged in any court. What if they wrongly implicate someone? India is a democratic country where we allow 100 guilty people to go free but not a single innocent should be falsely held guilty. So the point in Lokpal draft goes against the democratic principle of our society.

    3) The draft wants Lokpal members to be considered police who can investigate in any manner and search anyone’s house, take possession of property, etc. In a democratic society even police requires search warrant from court. But over here Lokpal will decide whether to issue search warrant or not and the will itself investigates. This point can cause tremendous problems.

    4) The bill further goes on to say that it’s member (or so called police) can also investigate other crimes if they are linked to corruption, i.e. if a corrupt officer is murdered, the lokpal can not only investigate corruption charge, but can also investigate murder!

    5) Bill states that it can change its itself for smooth operation! What if after being passed Lokpal decides to “add” or “delete” points to flex its muscles.

    6) The draft also says that Lokpal bill will override all other laws. How can we allow Lokpal bill to override EVERYTHING ELSE?

    There are many more “tricky” points but can’t detail everything here. Better read draft for yourself.

    So if the draft is not proper then what is the solution? One solution could be having an independent anti-corruption bureau which is completely free of political interferences. We can interlink this with a special type of court which handles corruption complains. Anti corruption bureau can investigate and present the facts before court. Let the court decide whether a person is guilty or not.

    And we should not doubt the integrity of our courts. It is only because of our courts that a billionaire like Shahid Balwa and a high-profile politician like A Raja are now in jail.

    And to RC, you can vote for BJP once next election comes. Congress has actually screwed up our country.

    Finally, fighting for corruption is the need of the hour. So do protest, but don’t ask for the bill to be passed. Let us have a free ACB and a special court. This is a better solution because all that WE want is a corruption free India. What is the need to come up with a “agency” which not only bypasses every other agency but can also interfere with their functioning (Lokpal bill also states that it can make use of all agencies under Central Government as it deems fit without any interference).

    Once again, remember we are a democratic country where we don’t allow a single innocent to be punished, even if we have to let go of 100 criminals. Too much power in few hands will be asking for trouble.

    • Rahul said, on April 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      This is in response to “The draft states that it’s decision cannot be challenged in any court. What if they wrongly implicate someone? India is a democratic country where we allow 100 guilty people to go free but not a single innocent should be falsely held guilty. So the point in Lokpal draft goes against the democratic principle of our society.”

      It has been often misused and hare brained. Dispensation of justice is by the rulers. They are not governed by normal behaviour but something called as Rajdhrama (for want of better word in English).

      “It has been said that, to save a family you may sacrifice a man, to save the clan you may sacrifice a family, to save a village you may sacrifice a clan, and to save a kingdom you may sacrifice a village.”

      I do not know the origins of the dictat that 100 guilty can go free to prevent an innocent being punished. But I guess it is an hangover from the colonial times (all, not only English) where the rulers wanted to be exonerated even on filmsy grounds (remember the judiciary were controlled by them and the laws were written and enforced by them) on the same sacred defence of innocents. Not for once I flinch about the principle of “presumed innocence till proven guilty”. But I have serious reservations if one is guided by the principle of 100 guilty can go free. It vitiates the mind and does not lead to Natural Justice.

      And there are cases when the punishment of innocents becomes unavoidable. That is the duty of the ruler and the burden carried by him/her.

      For example the punishment may take a simple form of checking of our vehicles on road that may cause couple of hours delay to our plans. The checking is necessitated to prevent terrorist attacks. But in some cases they may even arrest us on suspicion. It may be any of us. May be even for posting in these blog sites. Who knows! But we have to take it as it is not done with intention (unless we are actively involved in some undesirable activity). We may lose some days but we shall emerge untarnished after that period of time. A price to pay for living in a peaceful society.

      I am digressing, my point is that please do not use this statement again. It shows a clear mind being corrupted by the venal politicians of Modern India. It is the clause used by them to escape. If that is true, then we shall disband all the courts and police force since we do not want to punish even a single soul for committing crimes

    • Ponga Pundit said, on April 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      “Once again, remember we are a democratic country where we don’t allow a single innocent to be punished, even if we have to let go of 100 criminals.”

      That is at the core of the problem, not only in India but in all the “politically correct” democratic countries around the world. People who make this argument don’t understand that if the “100 criminals” are let to go then they cause more damage to the society and the growth in criminal activities is exponential and hence the society as whole starts getting disillusioned about effectiveness of democracy in general.

  84. G.K.Subbarayudu said, on April 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Who, in this country, is fit to be on the LOKPAL selection committee?
    1.Elected representatives are most of the time career politicians with at least ‘tainted’ records. NO
    2. Nobel Laureates and Magsaysay Award winners are ‘approved by outsiders’ on grounds which may have nothing to do with our relities. NO
    3. Judges of the Indian Courts have ,time and again, been found to have skeletons in the cupboard. NO
    4. We can go on listing the ineligible ones .
    5. Why not ask for the UN Scretary General, The President of USA, The Govt. of Switzerland, and the Auctioner at Sotheby’s or the IPL to do the job of selecting the Lokpal panel?They are TRULY disinterested parties.
    6. About the draft and the powers… leave it toSonia madam’s speech-writers and/or Kapil Sibal.They can do an admirable fudge. Mani Shankar Aiyar and Chidambaram are too ornate and sophisticated. Hindi translation can be done by Doordarshan well-known for terms such as kanth-sangeet for Vocal Music. Made -Easy version in English can be done by Chetan Bhagat
    7. For Implementation we can have a committee of life-members headed by Manmohan Singh.
    — G.K.Subbarayudu

  85. Raghavendra said, on April 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    The major flaw is regarding the procedure to select the members of Lokpal. If this can be overcomed with inputs from the citizens of this country the bill will definetly be a nice weapon against corruption.

  86. LMan said, on April 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Well said.. corrupted politicians looted the country’s wealth. samples ($40 billion – 2g , common wealth games corruption)…. Take any activity government do – they do for looting money – I simply say – any activity. raod, bus , train, water, land, communication, court cases any thing government involved activities are PURELY done for politicians’ interest NOT on public interest…..

    I mean not only politicians’ entire public is doing for their self interest(atleast 90+ percent). entire society needs a basic instinct change. live and let others live.

    All money oriented…yes, money required for living..but not of 1 lakh crores for living?? greedy needs to be axed.

  87. Ameya Naik said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    This is going to be a long reply, so please excuse me. I thank you for bringing up substantial debate on the bill itself – as opposed to the surrounding movement, and for clarifying that point. It is indeed a very necessary distinction. That said, I have serious issue with the points you raise. Point by point then:

    5. I have not heard anyone say that they are bringing the HK bill to India, just that it is one of the sources. I believe the complaints procedure and (in HK, recommendation to consider) blacklisting/cancellation/confiscation are the common part. If anybody has said / tried to say that THIS mechanism is running in HK, that is a lie. Thank you for bringing that out.

    The next four points, however, are pure scare-mongering.
    #4. Where would these matters be investigated if not the Lokpal. The court, right? And is there any power here which a court could not order in its ruling? Except the proviso on compulsory dismissal – which I agree is excessive – nope. Do we run screaming that our courts have too much power? Then why the hue & cry here?
    Also, we are not left “at the merciful benevolence” of the Lokpal as you say – we can appeal the ruling in a court! (More on this at 3).

    #3. Any law student knows that there is a world of difference between BEING the police or a court, and being DEEMED a police officer or a court in the exercise of certain functions. Far from granting unbridled power (as you seem to believe) it only gives certain procedural privileges – to investigate, record evidence on affidavit, summon witnesses or sub poena documents. At the same time, it in & of itself imposes VERY IMPORTANT procedural safeguards.
    Because he is deemed a police officer (= govt servant), a Lokpal member faces prosecution under Indian Penal Code for any impropriety. Because – and this answers to #4 as well – it is deemed a judicial proceeding, you can appeal the ruling in a (High/Supreme) court.
    Also, it is hardly unusual for someone *not trained to be police* to have both investigative and quasi-judicial authority. In any number of disputes, including on property, a District Collector is empowered to conduct his own enquiry and reach a decision. Such a proceeding is also *deemed to be a judicial proceeding*. Do we run screaming that the Collector is IAS, not IPS or a judge, so stop him? Nope.

    #2 The bill contemplates a far more transparent & effective mechanism than is in place with any existing system, and then from the top-down coerces those existing offices into the same setup. That is your first guarantee that it is not as easily compromised as those institutions. Second, there is an IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE. To get rid of a compromised Lokpal – or one who is insolvent, physically or mentally unfit, convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or even just found to have a conflict of interest – one has to institute this removal procedure. It would amount to complaining against the Lokpal to the government – and Parliament will (no doubt very eagerly) do the rest. One DOES NOT have to get a Nobel & get on the selection committee. PLEASE DON’T BE RIDICULOUS.
    There are genuine concerns about the ad-hoc nature of the selection body, as you bring out. Nobel laureates of Indian Origin rarely want anything to do with Indian politics – indeed Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan (Physics, 2009) made this expressly clear. Bharat Ratna awards procedure is often criticised for how politicised it is. At least Magsaysay awards are a neutral choice related to governance & public service in Asia. (I’m assuming the CEC, CAG, SC/HC judges, Speaker, Vice President are not the problem here.) Suppose we struck out all of those, and had a separate procedure to elect / nominate ‘n’ number of civil society nominees to this panel, would you have an issue? I tend to believe the same people will wind up there, which makes this only a quibble. An important quibble, to be sure, but of little impact in the end.

    #1. Finally, a genuine concern. Only – wait – it’s not. Because Lokpal members are not “unelected” nor do they have “police rank”. The people who do have “police rank” – police, CBI etc. – are just as unelected. They are executive officers who come through a selection procedure as well. By your logic, we should institute an “Indian Ombudsman Service” instead! To be more specific, the police derive their power from laws legislated in Parliament – the Constitution, the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure etc. This is exactly true of the Lokpal as well – it will derive its powers from a law, hence be under the Constitution, and will function subject to that law and the Constitutional mechanism of judicial review – PLUS its own internal safeguards.

    In short, except for the concern with the selection procedure, you have no case. So while I appreciate the effort to debate the Bill on its own merits, I am afraid it also looks like you only want to scream “Police” “Unelected” “Jail” etc. and watch the ensuing panic. Your own solution – an HK style “true” ombudsman in India – will be a mere paper tiger like the NHRC. Remember HK has strict courts, with stringent anti-corruption legislation and precedent of severe conviction. We are not at that stage, and this bill is a “short-cut” to get us there.

    I may be misunderstanding. It may be that your concern is how the bill (or the movement) bypasses many democratic processes & institutions. This WOULD be a genuine concern. Unfortunately, those same institutions have indeed developed “systemic & ingrained” institutional defects. (You are free to assert that this is nonsense, of course, but it would be nice if you backed that up with reasoning or logic too.) I do agree that it is more democratic to reform those institutions so that they perform the functions they we originally entrusted to them. Seeing no way of achieving this in the near (or even middlingly distant) future, I am willing to try the Short Cut for now. Because it is *a* remedy – not the ideal one, but far better than the current scenario.

    It is possible you are violently averse to this Short Cut for what it does (or seems to do) to our democracy – but if so, please do say so openly. Stop coming up with ridiculous reasons to disguise that.

    • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      Quick points – will reply in detail later.

      5. I have discussed this with Lok pal supporters see my twitter feed. The Hong Kong bill was touted as the model for this bill. Well I just pointed on my blog that I read the Hong Kong bill and I think not.

      4. Dont know what you mean by “Courts investigate these matters” – The Lokpal proposes to investigate AND hear.

      >> Do we run screaming that our courts have too much power? Then why the hue & cry here?

      Are you drawing an equivalence with the main court system and the Lokpal court headed by civil nominees ?

      3. District collectors, tax officials, even the railway ticket collector have quasi police /judicial powers of varying degree. I am aware of that. However this is a matter of degree. Lok Pal seeks far greater powers than these. In fact it wants part of the CBI under its (nominated civil society) control. There is simply no reason why a Lokpal needs these powers. Investigative powers I support – that will result in a report being produced. There is nothing shameful about producing a report. The CAG only produced a report which bumped a parliament session. I suspect architects of the JLP think it is a dreary and unglamorous job to produce a report and leave it to dry. Far from that – I would love to see a Lokpal investigate 2G and produce a report – much like the CAG did on the accounts part. Why is there any need to go beyond this ?

      2. Oh Please dont trivialize the selection issue. Impeachment is hardly an easy procedure. You bring up an excellent point of some kind of election to Lokpal members. I would have NO problem with that. But then you dont need this Lokpal bill – because now the nominees are mini politicians themselves. Having had to campaign to win. I really doubt the same guys would land up if elections were held for Lokpal positions. I have not even started with the selection procedure. In a future blog post I will lay out how such adhocness in selecting such a powerful body – will naturally invite (and rightfully so) alignment along priimary social justice platforms.

      1. I simply dont where to start with “Police is not elected – dont they arrest” – “Judges are not elected – dont they send you to jail” – “CAG is not elected – dont they investigate” – these are recognized pillars of our democratic setup as we understand it. If you question their monopoly functions – you are taking the discussion to a whole new domain.

      I dont want ANY short cuts. It is not a question of TRYING it and saying “aw shucks that sucked” if it doesnt work. Once this short cut is in place – it will remain for ever subsuming every other institution that works. \

      Finally, this is my style of blogging. I dont indulge in hyperbole – but I do tend to use effect words like “send to jail” which are not too far off the mark but are sufficiently close.

  88. Arti said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I don’t think its a lemon. A little watering down will bring it to the right constitutional level. The government proposed Lokpal bill is way too tame. The fight at hand is to make the government enter discussions with the citizens. Negotiations etc will water the Jan Lokpal bill down and hopefully pump up the Govt Lokpal bill.

  89. Ameya Naik said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    And a short matter to follow up: the same people & procedure (including public-government joint drafting & consultation) gave us the RTI Act in Maharashtra. It ought to be subject to the same criticisms on being undemocratic etc. Funny thing is, most people hail it as one of the most effective tools of promoting true democracy.

    Just as RTI *should not* be necessary because the government *should* be fully transparent in its functioning, the Lokpal *should not* be necessary because existing anti-corruption laws & offices *should* function properly. And just as RTI once implemented proved to be a big step forward, notwithstanding its flaws, the Lokpal once implemented will, I believe, prove to be a major positive step.

    • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      I have been a strong critic of the RTI – during its inception and enactment. Have blogged extensively on subject.

      I think it has effectively killed mandatory disclosure law in this country. Not to mention the people it killed. It is not even rigorous – if one person can know some information why cant everyone else ? It is now a “Dont ask dont tell + who wants to know” double whammy rolled into one.

      Search for RTI on this blog

  90. Arun Lakhotia said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I came to precisely this conclusion after reading the Bill. The Lokpal is Petitioner, Judge, Jury, and Executioner all rolled into one.

    I know you ran out of patience and touched on only a few points.

    Incidentally, there is already an act Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, that provides a pretty good structure. Turns out this Bill will void that Act, and replace it.

    I am starting my own analysis of the Bill on my Facvebook page. Here is a link to my first note.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/note.php?note_id=10150153265588667

    I think it should point to other notes.

    • realitycheck said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      He he – true.

      I wanted to make it top 10 reasons but got tired.

  91. Ganesh Salem said, on April 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Your concerns are valid. But it’s kind of an emergency situation. Corrupt people must fear. Sewer rats must stay in the sewer. Following idea may be more democratic.

    Democracy should be dynamic and adaptive. It means no 5 year term. In fact representatives don’t know what their term is. This is applicable to all crooks who want to settle in and fatten up (any public servant). They are given responsibility not power. How do we do this? Simple.

    1. We have voting machines. So voting can/should be done all the time.

    2. Keep permanent voting booths with the option of voting against an elected representative and public servants.

    3. People can add name and vote for somebody or just vote against someone.

    4. No backdoor for any post. CM, PM and all are directly elected by the people.

    5. Once a critical mass is reached even CM, PM should be brought down and become an ordinary citizen.

    We may start this out with our officers first.

    This may be a bit shaky initially. But what comes out of it is a clean, transparent and simple government. Ponder over this and think of the possibilities.

    -Ganesh

    • cm said, on April 11, 2011 at 7:44 am

      Ganesh.. since you mention Voting Machines, there is a whole debate on whether voting machines can be manipulated. It turns out that they CAN be !

      What you want is a RIGHT TO RECALL your elected representative. The exact mechanisms can be worked out. As of now, they have a blank cheque for five years.

  92. upardhasaradhi said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Both the bilsl proposed by the civil society and the bill Govt may have flaws; however it won’t take away the main purpose of having such a bill. When a joint drafting group is formed, one can get best points in both bills, take some more ideas around and have a final draft, which is a better way of drafting rules, rather than saying this is wrong and that is wrong and hence we can’t have a Bill.

  93. upardhasaradhi said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Both the bills proposed by the civil society and the bill Govt may have flaws; however it won’t take away the main purpose of having such a bill. When a joint drafting group is formed, one can get best points in both bills, take some more ideas around and have a final draft, which is a better way of drafting rules, rather than saying this is wrong and that is wrong and hence we can’t have a Bill.

  94. Archit said, on April 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    – These awards cannot possibly confer powers to put other people in jail.

    You are missing the point. people who win these awards are the 1 in million persons. They are the cream of society b’cuz of their excellence in field, they are winners. Bill simply wants people of top integrity and intelligence to be part of selection process – i assure they will definitely be better than “Lalu Prasad”

    I simply do not want unelected people to have the power to put other Indian citizens in jail.

    – Dude, police & judiciary is also not elected. Also they are not NORMAL “Indian Citizens” but “Part of Government” which these people believe gives them license to “LOOT” the country. I definitely need exceptional-strong laws against these people.

    – Only Point of concern ” Who Guards the guardian” —ensuring Lokpal remains incorruptible, and efficent.

    Simple- People in Lokpal can be monitored by intelligence agencies (RAW) for “COMPLETE” list of assets & transactions. A Lokpal member should not be able to buy a mobile phone without RAW knowing its potential source of income (this is very simple using computers)

    – Punishment for corruption by LOKpal itself – DEATH

    So we ensure
    – Excellent people select “excellent Lokpal members”
    – Lokpal is paid handsomely (2 lacks/month) and all their (whole family) financial transactions/assets are 100% tracked…(easy due to computers).

    – Lokpal will know that even if he takes a bribe….their is no way to spend it!!

    All his assets are completely tracked for LIFE and punishment is VERRRY severe. This will be a HUGE dis-incentive for corruption. He has 100’s of enemies who will pounce on him for a single mistake.

    • Kiran said, on April 9, 2011 at 3:39 am

      This is a fitting reply. Good on Archit. My thoughts exactly!

    • kothala thevan said, on April 9, 2011 at 5:33 am

      If RAW can control Lokpal member assets, why not they do it now with the elected politicians instead ?
      Harebrain ideologues propose harebrain bills, and harebrain socialism inspired liberal retards go Cluster F*king on FB, Twitter etc.,

    • Ponga Pundit said, on April 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      Involving *RAW*??? Are you high???

      • kothala thevan said, on April 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

        ask that to archit. socialism is indeed addictive.

  95. frustrated indian said, on April 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

    I liked the article and I feel sorry for people who are brainless to get convinced by Anna Hazare and his cronies, especially crooks like Sandeeo Pandey, Swami Agnivesh, Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patekar. Before singing the song of liberation, do they even know that people like Mallika Sarabhai are also politicians ( its a different story that people showed her the way out when she stood in the election. ) Its really funny that these kind of fully self righteous,self certified activists are now calling themselves leaders of civil society. HA! Get a mind and vote congress out of power. Dont get carried away in the media created Euphoria. Anna has done it before so many times, why did the media got interested this time only?

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:47 am

      Sir we should focus on getting strong anticorruption laws and other solutions instead of wasting time, energy on pointing at individuals.
      It is now upto u n me to fight corruption and tell the govt that inaction will not be tolerated.We should pressurise the govt to bring in strong laws and punish the guilty who are still slumbering in the parliament.
      Irrespective of who is leading and joining we should unite against our common enemy- which is the corrupt and indifferent govt.

  96. frustrated indian said, on April 9, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Tihis place is filled with filth spewing congress agents like sam349, who calls himself a neutral hahaah….after reading his views, i dont think so, not even in the least.

  97. Harshita said, on April 9, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Well, about non elected people having powers of prosecution – judiciary is non elected – from sessions judge to SC judges. So that’s not really the point.

    And following hong kong bill in toto – I think its time we started doing our own thinking based on situations that exist in India.

    But I do agree that Lokpal shouldn’t have absolute powers, and that there must a strong mechanism to ensure the accountability of his/her own actions – as it will be a crucial institution to address the most plaguing problem of our nation.

    it would be unfortunate if it itself loses integrity due to misuse of its own power – of which there is every probability since the sheer scope of powers is too wide in this draft.

  98. RN GHOSH said, on April 9, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Not one Govt Department is clean. All are corrupt. Exceptions may prove the rule. Only the threat of losing their jobs can the corrupt babu’s exercise caution.

    It is ridiculous to see corrupt officials caught with full evidence going scott free, infact back to peddling their corruption drugs as they are feeding the chief minister or his cronies coffers from their daily black earnings.

    That is why when Justice Hegde catches these corrupt babu’s they are suspended for a few months before the Govt re-instates them – naturally, it breeds more corruption as these guys are paying out from their loot to get away.

    If the Lok Ayukta is good, supported by honest cops like Rupak Dutta, they can catch these crooks and become a force to reckon with. It is only when the Lokpal Bill offers 100% transperancy in all cases dealt by it and makes it available in the public domain that it cannot be taken over by policitical appointees who tow the ‘central command’ line. Justice Hegde is a clear example of how effective Lok Ayukta can be and it is only a strong and clear Lokpal Bill that can bring culprits to task and threaten all the corrupt babus.

    That is why Lokpal Bill must be strong, apolitical and must have tooth. Without powers to punish, Lok Ayukta’s efforts are just useless.

    Ofcourse, in cases like Raja, well, they have made so much money that even if he goes to jail, he will be living like a king as he will be able to buy off everyone in the jail. So, the measures should go to sieze them

  99. Attari said, on April 9, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I will support Lokpal bill if two things happen, naxal/commie terror supporter Agnivesh, Patkar etc(tribals pelted them with tomatoes and stones for supporting communist terror) are kept off and the foreign elements like Nobel and magsaysay(wtf is he?) have no saying in the selecting the members of an Indian Lokpal. Else this is a scam like the so called human rights activists who go on to protect terrorists.

    • Barbarian Indian said, on April 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      That is exactly the problem. If it becomes more powerful than the Govt, then morally it can’t be formed without a general election. If it is less powerful, it will be another toothless tool, manipulated by the ruling party like any other institution.

  100. Al said, on April 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    What is the guarantee that the Jan Lok Pal will become another KGB or SS, given the conduciveness it is campaigning ?

  101. Al said, on April 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    What is the guarantee that the Jan Lok Pal will not become another KGB or SS, given the conduciveness it is campaigning ?

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:42 am

      Sir,
      we cannot continue with our present magnitude of corruption.we have to find solutions.
      Every detail of the functioning of jan lokpal will be transparent.janlokpal is accountable to the judiciary.
      it doesnot have any judicial powers.
      it provides for dismissal and stringent punishment to members within jan lokpal guilty of corruption.
      So there is no need for concern that it will turn into KGB.

  102. Sirucat said, on April 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I fully agree. I think in a democracy what we lack is implementation of law. That require honesty at highest levels, it should start from there. That is the problem in India we are facing today. And that percolates down. By setting up a parallel body by Janlokpal in its current form with astronomical powers will only cause confusion and make the government dysfunctional.

    Instead I feel a parallel body can be vested with powers to give sanction to prosecute those in power, instead of waiting from PM or CM or governor today.

    Instead, Anna Hazare and the volunteers should continue with the same momentum and educate the masses about corruption and the need to reject corrupt candidates, only that would cleanse the political system. I am writing this from Tamil nadu, 2G spectrum is not an election issue. The reason is people have started accepting corruption. That mindset which is the root cause for all evils should be changed first. It is indeed a long process, but if we all believe in democracy, unfortunately, there are no short cuts.

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:38 am

      Sir,
      we need institutions and law to punish corrupt politicians and bureacrats.
      CBI is not independent and has the powers to investigate a politician only on advice of the govt.Can u imagine the govt issuing orders against sibal,pawar, pranab or chidambaram.And CVS is merely an advisory body, the govt doesnt listen to anyway.So CVC should be dissolved. And we need an independent and powerful system to take necessary action against corrupt politicians and bureacrats
      We are educating masses sir.But it is hard to convince the poor and hungry who constitute 80% of our population.
      that is why u n i must fight sir.they have made a mockery out of our electoral system too.
      jan lokpal is the first system.a series of reforms are necessary along with it.Semi-direct democracy is true democracy, not representative.
      Citizen’s power should not merely be restricted to elections that comes once in 5 years.
      we must keep the govt on its toes

  103. Seema Singh said, on April 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    WHY THIS OBSESSION WITH ANNA?? SHARMILA HAS BEEN ON A HUNGER STRIKE FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS… EVERY FEW WEEKS SHE IS ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING SUICIDE.. WHY THESE DOUBLE STANDARDS???????
    http://www.wahsarkar.com/?p=224

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

      I am extremely sorry.I got to know about Sharmila very recently.It is exactly why we must stand up now and fight corruption and do justice to ourselves and our unsung heroes.
      Anna hazare doesnot want celebrity status.take a close look at his life and u will understand it.
      Anna hazare only wants us to raise our voices against corruption and support ourselves
      We must fight now and do justice to sharmila too.

  104. socal said, on April 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Well put. Lokpal bill is the dessicated recipe of revolution by the back door. Unelected reps, ombudsman etc should not be privileged to lord over the fortunes of ordinary citizens.

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

      Lokpal is not designed to lord over fortunes of ordinary citizens, our politicians are.
      I request you to understand the magnitude of corruption in our country.We maybe fine but 80% of our population still lives below poverty line-thanks to our policies and legislation made by incompetent politicians who were were elected by exploiting the same poor by cash for votes.
      We need a check over them.clearly the CBI and CVC have failed.status quo is unacceptable.
      Election is not the only way for a citizen to participate in democracy.

  105. Vikas Mehta said, on April 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I think this bill is just the begining of the revolution. As far the document is concerned, no one, including Anna Hazare, wanted the doc to be passed as it is. What they, and the civil society wanted was notification of the committee which will discuss the bill docs and amend it to best suit the Indian Scenario and at the same time ensuring guilty are severly punished. Also there is a provision where in we all as citizens of India can participate and give suggesions / feedback on this draft. The traft doc might be crude but the intent is pure and i as a citizen salute the intent.

  106. […] കുറിച്ചും വ്യാപകമായ വിമര്‍ശനമുണ്ട്. ഇവിടം നോക്കുക. അതിന്റെ വിശദാംശങ്ങളിലേക്ക്ക് ഇവിടെ […]

  107. Arun Lakhotia said, on April 10, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Indeed, as some have suggested. The Bill promoted by IAC is a draft. Its far from perfect. The final bill will emerge with dialogue.

    That said, its likely that the Bill on the table will be the starting point for discussion. Now that the junta has become energized, it may also help to become aware of what the draft Bill contains. This would help in evaluating whatever emerges.

    This is important should a Bill really appear in 30 days, as the Government Notification says.

    I have started a dissection of the Bill. At this time I have it on Facebook as Notes. Sometime soon I will post my notes on a blog as well. Meanwhile, you can reach my notes following these links.

    My Introductory Note: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150153265588667

    Objectives of Lokpal: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150154295248667

    What’s a “public servant”? http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150154370318667

    How will Lokpal determine “corruption”? http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150154458343667

    What is “The Lokpal”? http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150154703453667

    What are the “powers” of the Lokpal? http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150155038053667

    If the links are not accessible, please leave a response here.

  108. Desi said, on April 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Finally someone has pointed out the flaws of the cureall therapy dveloped by the holier than thou gang. This always happens when a small exclusive group (howsoever well emaning or competent they think they are) backed by morons in media (on MNC payroll) try their hands at rooting out all ills of governance at one stroke. If this bill is passed in the form given by these people, it will create another monster which even hundreds of fasts by hundreds of Annas won’t be able to remedy.
    Don’t be have enough laws and enough institutions already? Are they working well that we may get teh confidence that this one will work better. The same set of people will be running this thing also, from the same same social setting. (By the way one ex CVC chief said, and he should know, that 20% Indians are utterly corrupt, and 75% are marginally corrupt–that is enough for confidence).
    What is needed is pure and simple judicial reform–drastic and quick. In no other country of the world can the real perpetrators of crimes like Bofors, Jain Hawala, Bank Security.Stamp Paper and so on can go scotfree and continue to sit on the desnities of a billion people. If quick, competent and honest justice is provided the same set of laws and institutions will be more than enough, and change the face of governance in India. So it is time Anna finds another cause, maybe against the system that selects somebody like the previous CJ to preside over (the death of ) justice in India. If he fasts for setting up thousands of fast track courts all over the country all types of crimes will come down (as it has done in Bihar, Gujarat and many other states). Lokpal bill is just a chimera to hide the real issues. It is a fight between politicians, industrilaists, MNCs, jholawallahs, bureaucrats and others for the priority right to exploit us common Indians.
    By the way, how have we thought how any chief executive can take decisions and really govern if he/she alwayys has a damocles sword of a super chief executive hanging over him/her–that too non-elected, backed by street power.
    If we really want to be ruled by Annas, Kejriwals, Agniveshes, Teestas, Kiran Bedis, Baba Ramdevs of this world let us elect them rather than allow them to come in through the backdoor by staging tamashas and by emotional blackmail.

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:22 am

      Desi- we dont have enough laws already.Punishment to the corrupt in our law-is 5 years imprisonment and no recovery of the stolen wealth.Ridiculous.
      And our existing institutions have failed miserably as evident by the magnitude of corruption in our country.
      CBI is not independent and has the powers to act only on the command of the govt.Why would the govt want its CBI to investigate sibal, pranab and chidambaram.
      CVC is independent but merely an advisory body, the govt doesnt listen to anyways.
      Jan lokpal is drafted after analysis of inadequacies in our existing institutions.It is not a supercop as it doesnot have judicial powers.
      Take a look at our parliament and u will know why we need jan lokpal.
      Good people cannot be elected- thanks to the cash for votes policy adopted by our politicians to exploit 80% of our population which is poor.
      As a citizen , we should have the power to participate in law making process.Our role is not limited to elections which comes once in 5 years.

      • pappu said, on April 18, 2011 at 9:06 am

        Manali,
        What do you mean, GOOD PEOPLE CAN NOT BE ELECTED? Come to Gujarat and see how a good man, who has done so much for the state, has been getting elected again and again despite a hateful campaign against him by the media. Please dont propagate the anti-democratic views here. India will become corruption free only if we elect good people and not by self righteous slelect few.

    • pappu said, on April 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

      I fully agree with Desi!!!
      Actually Agnivesh, Mallika and a few others have aleady tried contesting elections and they have been the biggest losers. In fact both of these crooks could not even save the election deposits. Now they are trying a different way. Civil Society HAHAHAHAHAHAH ….what s that ?

  109. Sumit said, on April 10, 2011 at 5:29 am

    If somebody has a doubt about the intensity of feelings of people against corruption, then request you to talk to any youth. The atmosphere at Jantar Mantar is a clear indication of the “ANGER” of people against corrupt Govt officials. Do not under-estimate these feelings. If someone is mistaken, then just see the first result – Govt bending backward and agreeing to do what they obviously should have done in the first place – make a decent legislation and not a sham legislation against corruption. The draft legistation introduced by Govt is a laughing stock and good example of corruption in our Govt.

    If press does not cover the feeling of millions of people, then that press is obviously tainted. I must say, that press has done a very good job in this case. They gave oppurtunity to everyone (including politicians) to express their views. It is just that politicians had just excuses that’s it.

    • s said, on April 10, 2011 at 7:23 am

      govt accepting demands of aana only keeping in view the assembly elections in south states and nothing more than that……….

      • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:13 am

        We must keep our eyes on the goal.Achieve a strong anticorruption law and punish the guilty.

  110. Ganesh said, on April 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Lokpal bill in any form will be successful only if our people become intolerant towards corruption.

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:12 am

      True.
      An lokpal is the first step.Once we have a system that punishes the corrupt, people will automatically fall in place.
      We need many more political, electoral, social and economic reforms- for best outcome.

  111. Barbarian Indian said, on April 10, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Look at the worthies who will draft the Bill:
    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename=Ws090411TheTenMen.asp

    Includes even “zero loss” Sibal.

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:10 am

      All the members of the civil society are declaring their assets today.
      We should the same from our govt representatives in the panel.

  112. […] out that the scale of noble goal was toned down and all that noble folks wanted to create is a supercop. What is more interesting is that a bunch of Maoist supporters and terror apologists are hell-bent […]

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:08 am

      Once again, the jan lokpal is not a supercop.It doesnot have any judicial powers.
      It is only an independent authority with powers to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption.The branch of the CBI which deals with corruption will be put at the disposal of Jan Lokpal.
      The govt has never paid heed to the advice of CVC(which is basically just an advisory body-the use of it is incomprehensible)
      People want a strong law that will take stringent action against the corruption.Thanks to the govt which has brought its people to this state.
      more than 300 lakh crores of our country’s wealth is in international tax havens.think of what could’ve been done with all that money.Now think about the relevance of jan lokpal.

  113. […] but based on my reading, that seems to be the most common, and you can read for yourself here, here, here, here,  here, and here (many thanks to all that tweeted me articles on this […]

    • manali said, on April 15, 2011 at 12:02 am

      Every attempt of constitutional means has been ignored by the govt.With every scam opening the door to another scam and the country neck deep in trouble(plundering of our national resources and a breach of national security)- the least expected from the govt is acknowledgement and consider solutions to tackle the problem when clearly status quo is unacceptable.
      If this is what is required to get the govt to notice the suffering of the people- its a shame on the govt and our democracy.
      Corruption is a national emergency and we need to be atleast willing to work out solutions.
      While the media has been trying to make people believe that it is another form of scary anarchy, I believe they are simply scared coz they are aware of the danger of waking its people after a long lull of frustration.They are afraid of a row of reforms that may follow, including a path to semi-direct democracy, coz they know this is the congenial atmosphere for reforms.
      Which ever way it- we have a choice to make.On the side of the corrupt govt, who will do anything to protect themselves or people who want effective action against corruption.

  114. My2cents said, on April 12, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Hello, I had a look at the Janlokpal bill & here are my two cents : –

    1.) No mention of prison sentences for corrupt members of Jan Lok pal bill including the chairperson, members & the employees & confiscating any recovered wealth as a result of corruption ? Why not, why the double standard?

    The bill seeks prison sentences for convicted public servants, politicians, private bodies & it seems that the court can also send a false complainant to 1 year prison sentence in case of malafide intent. However ironically nowhere in the bill & also from what I have seen on TV, the Jan Lok pal members only mention dismissal of corrupt lokpal members/ employees within 1 month. Why the double standards? Why does it not lay down equal punishment – If they seek prison sentences for others they should hold themselves to the same standard of punishment including seizure of any ill gotten wealth.

    2) No esteemed private citizens like Mr Narayan Murthy who have volunteered their services or new members of the civic society from outside have been appointed. All the people who are already connected to the Jan Lok pal bill have self appointed themselves as members of the committee in leading positions. On TV I have heard few of the Janlok pal members say that they are the most competent people to handle the bill., I don’t believe there are no other competent people in India besides themselves. If they had taken 2 new people from civic society it would send a signal that they are not interested in appointing only themselves!

    3) The chairperson , members & each employees of the Jan lokpal bill also should be made to declare their assets. There is no mention of this anywhere which is surprising considering that members who drafted the JanLok pal bill are mostly ex public servants & judges themselves.

    4) Why can’t anyone sue Jan Lokpal in a court of law? Again from my knowledge ( I agree limited & I may be wrong ), even the CBI can be sued so why is the Jan Lokpal seeking immunity – if their own workings are transparent & honest what do they fear. It seems Jan Lokapl members are happy to have double standards again when their own workings are put on a scanner – if their own workings & member / employees are found to be corrupt why can’t they be sued ?

    5) What is the approximate estimated cost to Indian tax payers in setting up Jan Lokpal, paying salaries & hiring new employees for creating this huge institution & army of new public servants at centre & state level ? A clause in the Janlokpal bill even mentions that :-

    This clause in the bill states :-

    “ (5) There shall be a separate fund by the name of “Lokayukta fund” in which penalties/fines imposed by the Lokayukta shall be deposited and in which 10% of the loss of Public Money detected/prevented on account of investigations by Lokayukta shall also be deposited by the Government. Disposal of such fund shall be completely at the discretion of the Lokayukta and such fund shall be used only for enhancement/upgradation/extension of the infrastructure of Lokayukta.”

    Again will there be transparency in how they spend this money, they don’t mention anything. ?

    Personally I do not like the idea of Janlokpal bill in its present form. It seeks to create new public servants & bureaucracy with too much power in hands of few self appointed leaders with zero accountability to anyone as I have pointed out above. I also do not agree with diluting autonomy of existing institutions of democracy, how can the JanLokpal be above the parliament & Judiciary, it doesn’t make any sense.

    • manali said, on April 14, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      They clearly mentioned that every detail of the functioning of jan lokpal will be made transparent.
      Additional info- civil society members are declaring their assets today.can u ask the same from govt representatives in the panel.Transparency is the biggest weapon against corruption.
      It is completely accountable to the Higher courts.
      Jan lokpal is has no judiciary powers- it is not above judiciary.
      The magnitude of corruption in our society demands such a strong law ( bcoz clearly our existing systems have failed).The draft has been formulated as a result of analysis of loopholes in the existing system and upgrading.We need to keep it above the parliament to ensure a clean parliament.Look at our parliament….and u will find your answers.
      You make self appointing seem like they are doing it for money or personal gain.Do not mirror the concerns of our corrupt govt- they will say anything to get any weak member into the panel.The current panel members have been working for the longest time on the jan lokpal and are tough negotiators.All for the ultimate noble cause of strong anticorruption law for the country to punish the guilty who are still slumbering in the parliament.
      Dr Subramaniam Swamy admitted that he would not be able to participate as he is busy with electioneering.
      The punishment is the same for anyone charged with corruption- within the jan lokpal and outside.
      Jan Lokpal is only a start, leading the way for many other reforms to follow.
      The bill is open for discussion and improvement-that shouldnt be an issue.
      Status Quo is unacceptable and we should draft a workable strong anticorruption law that our prevailing conditions demand.

      • Vote Rahul said, on April 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

        you dont need lokpaal etc ….you just need to voote congress party. Rahul ji will take care of corropt

  115. manali said, on April 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    If u want, what the corrupt politicians are asking- u know where u stand.

    The bill is open for discussion and improvement.

    Be a responsible medium.Do not shatter the hopes of people with opinions mirroring that of our corrupt politicians.
    There is a constructive and healthy way of addressing concerns- do it responsibly.

    • Vote Rahul said, on April 19, 2011 at 8:05 am

      bjp and leftest are corrupt. not congress. Rahul ji can save this country from corruption mind you

  116. […] previous post might have been misconstrued as  blind support to the elected […]

  117. monkey said, on April 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Its funny. HOw could one support a person who changes his statements every 2nd day, suppounded by thieves and anti-nationals like traitors like TEESTA . LOL ….INdia is great dosto 🙂

    • Vote Rahul said, on April 19, 2011 at 8:02 am

      teesta is our supporter too. india will be great as long as they vote for congress and youth Rahul ji. so get lost monkey

  118. Prashant said, on April 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    A system of voting in-throwing out is not a solution. Though I agree with your concerns plus I believe that in years to come this bill will be of no more use than settling scores with ones political enemies (what congress is doing through CBI, NIC, what BJP and Jayalalitha did through POTA)

    I read someone talking about congress being the lesser of the two evils (don’t like BJP either and much less the Left). I wondered how the gentleman reached such an apt conclusion! I mean if a party of sycophants, two-timing scamsters is really our best hope, then God save our land.

    • aCHUTIYAnad said, on April 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAA…………YOU ALL ARE AMUL BABY …THE WHOLE OF INDIA IS AMUL BABY.

  119. Vote Rahul said, on April 19, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Dont trust Anna Hazzare. He is an unknown man. Vote for Rahul ji. he will save our India. Vote for congress always. mind you
    @ Prashanth, dont insult congress. people like you are responsible for everything. congress is the nly option this country has. secualar and we are muslim friendly too.

  120. Vote Rahul said, on April 19, 2011 at 8:04 am

    you fools read what Mr. Digvijay Singh says on currupt people like Anna and his friends
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/All-powerful-lokpal-not-in-interest-of-nation-Digvijay/articleshow/7988461.cms

    only rahul ji can save this country

    • chandru said, on August 19, 2011 at 6:15 am

      are you from congress party or paid by them to canvass for them?

  121. K P Ganesh said, on April 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    CONgress has managed to find an outsourcing company to deal with all the scams and vagaries of governance by giving in to the Jan LokPal bill as demanded by the Civil Society people. They have made off with so much money and are confident that the money will never be recovered no matter how many judiciary probe or inquires are set up. Also the fact that, if ever someone come close to pinning the corrupt down, they are bound to use their money and muscle power to rake up some serious issues to divert the whole public attention. All those guys who are at presently serving under the able leadership of scamster SONIA MAINO and her band of bandits in NAC and NHRC know for sure that by the time the next elections come around, Indians would have forgotten all this hullabaloo and end up voting for the wrong people again – like the CLOWN PRINCE RAUL VINCI aka Rahul G.

  122. Shyam said, on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    true… not sure who said this, but it still rings true: Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely

  123. Nivedita Mishra said, on August 16, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I fully second your views on the likes of Subramanian Swamy of Janata Party…

    “Highlighting exemplary work done by people like Subramanian Swamy.” The guy’s been doing amazing work against for a long time now. His is the anti-corruption model that collectively ordinary citizens should follow.

    Thank you!

  124. Vishakh said, on August 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Stop yapping about the version. If you so strongly feel against it. Give a solution you cunt muscle.

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  126. […] wrote one of the first posts slamming the Jan Lokpal bill. You called it a lemon, now why are you playing a different tune […]

  127. MP said, on August 22, 2011 at 7:36 am

    My thoughts as well http://rationalanalysis.tumblr.com/

  128. Vikash said, on August 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    The comment came from Lalu Prasad Yadav is disgusting. He need to learn many things from Honourable Anna that how to keep the hope of India alive. If he wants to learn something from Anna, he firstly needs a cleanup process for his soul, which could be done by eating cow dunk and drinking Gaumutra. But I really doubt that even after this process his soul could not be cleaned up and he has to take rebirth more than 1 lakh times.

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