Lokpal Bill Discussions: Transcripts and Audio Tapes

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by thakur_ritesh, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Third meeting:

    on the issue of inclusion of judiciary in the Lokpal:

    Prashant Bhushan: "Under the normal law, a judge can be subjected to investigation for corruption by any anti-corruption agency except that an impediment now has been created by that Viraswamy which says that you have to take prior permission from chief justice.

    Instead of the chief justice, we now have in this bill provided that a seven-member bench of the Lokpal will grant that permission. This is such a high-powered body, what greater assurance can judges have, that is, seven member bench of Lokpal deciding whether there is prima-facie case against a judge or not. So, in fact, chief justice, depending upon... if he is inimical towards a particular judge can occasionally also for his own whims give permission but here a sevenmember bench of the Lokpal of such a high-powered body... therefore no judge can have any apprehension or complaint about such a mechanism which provides greater assurance for freedom from any harassment or frivolous investigation."

    Pranab Mukherjee: "Let's make some progress... then we can consider it at some later stage... we are audiorecording it at present."

    On Team Anna's reservation as to how the public would identify who is saying what while listening to just an audio recording:

    Pranab said, "We can release even the entire transcript identifying who is saying what... that's not the problem... let's make some substantial progress... we can put this all on websites."

    On the issue of supremacy of the 'people's Parliament':

    Anna Hazare: "Along with Parliament, have we ever considered Parliament of the people in the village? If there is a decision about a village, the gram sabha has to be taken into confidence. The gram sabha's decision should be accepted. It is unilateral decisions made by the government without people's participation that has led to this.'' Pranab Mukherjee: "That is absolutely correct. Gram sabha should be made more powerful. That is why panchayati raj institutions were made... But Lokpal can't solve that."

    Veerappa Moily: "Just because there are systemic problems... does not mean we do away with institutions. More policing is not the answer. We are not creating a police state. All these institutions cannot be the answer."

    At the beginning of the fifth meet:

    Anna Hazare: "We started on April 16- after one-and-ahalf months and with one month remaining, we have not even completed a fourth of the issues. How will we finish in time? There are a lot of issues that we have kept pending that did not need to be kept hanging. For example, the matter of the judiciary.

    The matter of the bureaucracy - we see corruption is endemic at all levels in villages and people do not get redress even from officers like the commissioner and the BDO. This is why all officers need to come under Lokpal. Keeping it pending will only increase the time.

    The citizens' charter needs to clearly specify which officer will take how long to do a work. Corruption is not just an issue of high offices any more, lower bureaucracy is linked to the people. These are the root issues of corruption. This is why all officers need to be under Lokpal. Even if you cannot hang them, what is the harm in keeping the provision of life imprisonment which will act as a deterrent for all. There are some important issues that need to be decided speedily.

    These are merger of the anti corruption wing of CBI and CVC with Lokpal, the inclusion of PM under the Lokpal ambit - people are all for it. As for a Supreme Court or a high court judge, even if Lokpal cannot give punishment to them, what is the harm in it having probe powers? If the legal system is corrupt, how will people get justice? I have made up my mind that if we do not get done by the 30th (of June), I will quit from the committee."

    Pranab Mukherjee: "We are not rewriting the Constitution. We are not creating an institution where all powers of constitutional principles will be vested in it. Now, naturally as question comes to my mind... from block level, village level to the level of the cabinet secretary and the institution, when all corruption is to be judged by them, then it will be a parallel government as per my assessment." "To exercise a vote by a member of the legislature is absolutely his free action and if you want to interfere with that function within the House, I am afraid it will weaken the system instead of strengthening it."

    Lokpal bill: How Team Anna, government representatives fought clause-by-clause - The Times of India
     
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  3. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Tapes show government went back on assurance to Anna


    The Hindu : News / National : Tapes show government went back on assurance to Anna

    Jan Lokpal Bill draft was just annexed to, and not presented side by side, with official Bill before Cabinet

    Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare may have got Parliament to agree in principle on some crucial provisions in the draft Jan Lokpal Bill, but excerpts from a set of audio tapes aired on a television channel on Monday revealed that the civil society and government members on the Joint Drafting Committee (JDC) differed on major issues.

    The excerpts expose what the civil society members had been saying all along: the government side had agreed to place the draft Jan Lokpal Bill formulated by the civil society members, along with the official Lokpal Bill draft, before the Union Cabinet for consideration, but went back on its word.
    Finally, what went before the Cabinet was only the government's draft with the civil society's draft ‘annexed' to it.

    In the excerpts of the last meeting on June 21, JDC chairman Pranab Mukherjee is heard saying both drafts would be placed before the Cabinet.

    When civil society member Arvind Kejriwal asked whether the Cabinet would select one of them, Mr. Mukherjee is heard saying, “both, or a combination of both.”

    The minutes of the meeting recorded by the government say: “He [the chairman] assured that both the drafts would be submitted to the government for consideration before Cabinet approval is sought and prior to that a meeting is proposed to be held with the political parties and based on the outcome of such consultations, the administrative department would bring out the draft legislation in regular form incorporating all the views for Cabinet approval and for introduction of the Bill in Parliament thereafter.

    “Shri Arvind Kejriwal sought clarification as to whether the Bill will be specific for the Centre only and whether one of the options, i.e., either the government's formulation or the formulation proposed by the civil society will be chosen for the final draft. The chairman confirmed that both the formulations would be considered for the draft.”

    On appointment of Lokayuktas through the central legislation, Mr. Mukherjee is heard saying he had decided to seek the opinion of the States on this. The Punjab Chief Minister, for instance, had said that there was no need to have a separate law as they had their own Lokayukta.

    Once again Mr. Kejriwal “submitted” that in setting up the Central and State Information Commissions through the RTI, the opinion of the States was not sought.

    “That is your argument on why it should be or can be done,” Mr. Mukherjee said.
    The 10-member JDC included five from civil society —Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, senior lawyers Shanti Bhushan (co-chairman) and Prashant Bhushan, and the former Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde.

    The government was represented by Mr. Mukherjee, Law Minister Salman Khursheed, Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal, the former Law Minister, Veerappa Moily, and Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

    The panel was formed in response to Mr. Hazare going on fast at Jantar Mantar here, seeking an anti-corruption bill.

    RTI activist S.C. Aggarwal, who secured the tapes from the government through his application (besides the television channel), will share them with Team Anna, it is understood.

    Informed sources, however, clarified that the government had not released the tapes initially as the RTI Commissioner wanted to take the Law Ministry's opinion before allowing them to be made public.
     
  4. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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  5. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    This clealry puts lie to the the ovts claim that there a was broad understanding among all the constituents of the drafting committee over the key points of the Lok Pal bill,if anything it clearly illustrated the constant bickering and complete discord between the IAC and the govt.The decision to invite the Anna Hazare team in the drafting of the Lok pal bill was merely an eye wash to take the heat off the govt.Having assured that both the drafts will be sent to the cabinet,the govt rescinded on its assurance and sent its own draft.Anna was right to call off his participation in the drafting effort.

    Iam not placing high hopes on the so called 'effective Lok pal bill' that the govt has promised to place before the parliament,it will be just another spruced up version of the previous govt draft.
     

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