Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Lokpal Bill worse: Team Anna

 Express news service : New Delhi, Fri Dec 23 2011, 00:49 hrs
Team Anna on Thursday rejected the Lokpal Bill and demanded that a new Bill be brought in that will make the CBI independent. Addressing a press conference, Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said the new Bill was “worse” than the legislation introduced in August, alleging that the government does not want a comprehensive anti-graft ombudsman.
Describing the new Bill as “anti-people and dangerous”, he said the proposed legislation is meant to crush the rights enjoyed by people. “Only 10 per cent of the political leaders are in the Bill. Only five per cent of employees are in its ambit. Big companies are out of it...The government thinks that all citizens are corrupt but the leaders and employees are clean,” he said.
Kejriwal claimed that the Bill would make CBI “completely ineffective”. “Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition will not want a strong CBI director. They don’t want to put their lives in difficulty by having a strong CBI director,” he said.
On the issue of reservation for minorities in the Lokpal, former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde strongly opposed the idea. “Quota in government jobs is acceptable but look at the judiciary, there is no reservation there. There are enough good people available among SCs/STs and minorities. Select them on merit, why do you need reservation?” he asked. Shanti Bhushan, another Team Anna member, said the matter of reservation had nothing to do with the corruption issue and was best left to Parliament.
Manish Sisodia added, “The word minorities was dropped from the draft deliberately because the government knew very well that the omission would bring smaller parties on their feet. It is a ploy to take the focus off anti-corruption. The BJP is catering to its own constituency when it says it will not accept minority quota.” Kiran Bedi, on being asked if she saw an ulterior motive in the dropping of the word from the draft, said, “I have no evidence to comment either way but I have a feeling that Lokpal Bill will go the women’s reservation way.”

Anna fast venue: IAC moves court
MUMBAI: India Against Corruption on Thursday moved the Bombay High Court, seeking its intervention to get the state government to waive its charges for use of a MMRDA ground for Anna Hazare’s fast next week. The plea argued that citizens have a constitutional right to protest at a venue that is free and has adequate infrastructure, which they are denied in Mumbai.
“We have been denied our right to protest and have shifted the venue to Azad Maidan,” IAC’s Praful Vora said. Team Anna met senior police officers on Thursday to seek permission to use Azad Maidan from December 27 to December 29.

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