Lokpal must be autonomous body: Seshan’s draft

Former chief election commissioner TN Seshan has also prepared a draft for an autonomous anti-graft body.

Updated: Aug 26, 2011, 18:09 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: With the standoff between the civil society and the government on the structure of the Lokpal Bill refusing to die down soon, former chief election commissioner TN Seshan also joined the bandwagon and came up with a proposal for an autonomous anti-graft body on Friday.

Speaking to a news channel, Seshan said, “Corruption today is a major issue and we certainly need a mechanism to curb it. On the basis of my understanding of the Constitution and the functioning of Parliament, I have prepared a proposal for the future Lokpal, which is similar to what has been proposed by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.”

Former CEC, while maintaining that the supremacy of the Constitution and Parliament should be upheld at any cost, advocated, “The Constitution of the Lokpal or the anti-graft body should be similar to the Election Commision.”
Seshan elaborated that majority of the members in the anti-graft body should not be from government in order to maintain its credibility.

However, he stressed that both Lokpal and the Lokayukta should have enough autonomy.

The former CEC, while refusing to take the credit for being the first person to propose that future anti-graft body should be a constitutional body, stated that he had sent his proposal to spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar two days back and it was up to him to propose it to Rahul Gandhi or anybody in the government.
Seshan, who is credited for initiating major electoral reforms during his tenure, said that he wanted the mess over Lokpal to end soon and hoped that Anna Hazare would end his indefinite fast.

Separately, Sri Sri Ravishankar today called for an immediate action from the government on the three conditions set by Gandhian Anna Hazare to end his fast.

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s speech on the Lokpal issue, Sr Sri said that an independent body may be “good” but it “may not work right now”. While accepting that the idea in itself was fine Sri Sri added, “It is a long process and requires an amendment in the Constitution”.