Non Existent Superior Anti-corruption draft law


There is a draft anti-corruption bill proposed by Anna Hazare and his team of activists called the Jan Lokpal Bill.
There is a Government draft of the Lokpal Bill.
We have heard about a mysterious third alternative draft bill that people talk about as a superior alternative drafted by Ms Aruna Roy the Government supported Civil society Activist through her organization/group NCPRI.

As a citizen who is keen on Anti-corruption measures, I went around searching for this superior alternative and could only find a few pages of approach/concept notes and slide presentations.I could not find the real draft of the third superior bill.

I attempted to ask people who were saying that the NCPRI draft is better than both the Government and Jan Lokpal drafts, if they have seen the complete bill draft as proposed by NCPRI.

Nobody could give me the copy of any such draft except a bunch of approach/concept notes and presentations that news articles have reproduced faithfully.

Apparently the NCPRI has not proposed any such draft beyond what i read in the articles and concept notes.

I was avoiding comment till I see how the NCPRI proposes to bring these together as a draft for bill(s).It is only when they try to draft a bill, they will realize if their suggestions can really be implemented.

If they do have such a draft it will make sense to then react to these suggestions and I would love to see the draft and then share my comments or support such a draft.

If they do not have a draft, I urge them to try putting all their suggestions into a draft and it will not surprise me if they come out with a revised summary of suggestions than what their media friends have touted as the superior third alternative.

Without the draft bill(s) I am not able to test use cases. Only by testing use cases can we be certain if their approach will work.
Several issues are likely with their approach:
There are very few corruption cases that needs be handled by less than 2 lokpals according to the NCPRI approach.
Many grievances upon investigation can end up as a corruption case and the files have to move between lokpals causing unnecessary red tape.
How will they separate the territorial/jurisdiction issues between these 5 lopkal?
The 5th measure (they call that a lokpal too) of whistleblower protection is common to other 4 lokpals. How will it work?
If the CVC while investigating a corruption charge against a middle level bureaucrat, finds that a Central or State minister is also involved, will the case be simultaneously be judged by two or more lokpals? Or will it be transferred to a higher lokpal?
There are many such issues and the exercise of forming 5 lokpals seems pointless and complicating.
To me personally it seems an interpersonal ego issue between the civil society activists and it seems a bad idea.
Perhaps if they really work on it and come with a clear draft bill and working procedures, we can then judge these half-baked ideas better.


About Gunasekar C Rajaratnam

Social Entrepreneur, Guna has been working 28 years with market research and social research agencies and as an independent research consultant. Volunteers most of his time on social and public causes and has travelled extensively within India and has visited Africa. Trained as a barefoot manager, Guna leads a de-cluttered life of simplicity and personal Integrity and aims to be a 'Karmayogi'. He works with marginalised and rural communities and helps them set up sustainable enterprises in rural and urban areas. He holds these Positions: Director - Methodlabs Services Private Limited Co-Founder - Coworking Chennai Started as a freelance field data collector in 1985, grew up to a Senior General Manager in 1998 working for professional research agencies and as an Independent Research Methodology Consultant since 1998. He has designed and played a role in implementing a variety of research and analytic projects in retail markets, consumer behaviour, health, environment, social development, hard to reach communities and indigenous people. Specialities: Research Methodology, recruiting, training and managing large research teams, online collaboration tools, open source software, qualitative and quantitative research techniques, clinical and laboratory research practices and Knowledge management. Domain knowledge in Industrial diversification, marketing, retail markets, appropriate technologies, social development, health, sexual health, environment, urban wildlife, communities and indigenous people

2 responses »

  1. NCPRI has circulated some documents and letters indicating their views and approach to the Lokpal issue. However, the views aired by them may also be looked into and debated while formulating a strong, effective Lokapal bill. There is no question of weighing the superiority of the drafts/suggestions.
    India needs an effective set of measures that could be simultaneously and collectively adopted to prevent corruption at all levels, especially in high places, and to effectively redress grievances. Such measures could include the enactment of one or more laws in order to create the required institutions and authorities, the amendment of existing laws and practices, and the strengthening of existing institutions.
    However, now the country cannot spend much time on deliberations and a common, collective bill must be presented and debated in the Parliament for its enactment as soon as possible and within a specified timeframe acceptable to everybody.

    • I agree with you.
      It is important to put the suggestions in the form of a draft and test the draft against use cases. The use cases can be built from the known facts of actual corruption scams.
      There are some doubts if the same scam can be handled by multiple lokpals. What if a central minister is also found to be involved in a case handled by CVC that according to the NCPRI should deal with cases involving middle level bureaucrats? Do they then pass on the case to a national lokpal? or do they pass independent judgments on the same scam? This is only one procedural issue. There are others too.

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