NCPRI attacks Lokpal Bill over appropriateness
New Delhi: Aruna Roy-led NCPRI today
attacked the Lokpal Bill for its "lack of appropriateness",
saying it does not provide for adequate independence for the
ombudsman or power to investigate cases.
In its critique of the Bill, the National Campaign for
People's Right to Information (NCPRI) said the appropriateness
of 'The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011' could well be
determined by asking questions like whether the Lokpal is
adequately independent, whether it is empowered to detect and
investigate and prosecute corruption cases.
It alleged that the selection committee for Lokpal and
Lokayukta is "biased" in favour of the ruling party and
demanded that investigative wing of the state police be put
under Lokayuktas administrative and functional control so that
it has an independent probe agency.
The NCPRI also asked whether the proposed Lokpal has
adequate jurisdiction so that no category of public servant is
exempt from effective scrutiny and adequately accountable to
the people of India.
"While welcoming the current Bill, as introduced in
Parliament, and appreciating many of its progressive sections,
the NCPRI believes that the Bill in its present form does not
pass the above mentioned test," the NCPRI said in a statement.
The NCPRI alleged that the Bill envisages a selection
committee for the ombudsman that is "biased" in favour of the
ruling party, with three of the five members either being
from, or nominees of, the government and the ruling party.
"This militates against appointment of independent
authorities. The selection committee should not have a
preponderance of government nominees," it said.
The NCPRI said the investigation of cases against central
government employees are envisaged to be undertaken by CBI
which will "not be independent" of the government.