Activists take out march to demand `Jan Lokpal Bill`

Social activists and spiritual leaders joined hands with hundreds of people in a march against corruption to demand passage of `Jan Lokpal Bill` to bring offenders to justice.

Updated: Jan 30, 2011, 21:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Social activists and spiritual leaders on Sunday joined hands with hundreds of people in a march against corruption to demand passage of `Jan Lokpal Bill` to bring offenders to justice.

The rally, organised by Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravishankar and noted RTI activist Arun Kejriwal, was addressed by eminent personalities like Kiran Bedi, Ram Jethmalani, Prashant Bhushan, Sashi Bhushan, Mehmood Madani, Medha Patekar and others.

People walked through heart of the city from Ramlila Ground to Jantar Mantar under the banner of India Against Corruption, and raised slogan against rampant corruption and immediate passage of Jan Lokpal (Citizen`s ombudsman) Bill.

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi addressing the crowd said the current law against corruption is "inefficient" to fight against corrupt people as it is "formulated to protect them".
She claimed the proposed Bill will curb the menace as the Lokpal will be selected from a "people`s panel" and not by the government.

"There is lack of punishment and fear among corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, the existing laws are inefficient," she rued.

The Lokpal Bill drafted by the government must be modified as per the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by civil society groups, she said.
The modified Bill aimed at making the investigating agencies independent from the government and also included provisions to recover money from guilty officials, she said.

The Bill has been drafted by Kiran Bedi, Justice Santosh Hegde, advocate Prashant Bhushan, J M Lyngdoh and others.

Noted lawyer and BJP MP Ram Jethmalani called for support for this Bill saying, "You back this bill and we pledge that we will bring back black money stashed by the corrupt people and make sure they are brought to justice."

Spiritual leader Swami Agnivesh said our delegation will meet the Prime Minister, President, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader L K Advani and Left parties tomorrow and demand them to pass this bill in the next parliament session.

"If they disagree we will stage protest in front of their houses," he said.

He said a delegation has already met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who assured them of his support to this bill. They will also meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar soon to press their demand.

PTI