Kisan Bapat Baburao Hazare, well famous as Anna Hazare is one of the India’s well known social activists, A former soldier in the Indian army. The famous social activist is the face of India’s fight against corruption, He is demanding enactment of a strong anti-corruption law – Jan Lokpal Bill – to ensure swiftness and certainty of punishment to the corrupt. We should extend greater support to Hazare’s struggle than it did to the cricket team’s quest for the World Cup. The time has come to stand with a great social activist and support him with all other social activist like Kiran Bedi and baba Ramdevas. A humble request to country to join the Anna Hazare hunger strike, fast until death protesting against the corruption.
Salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill:
• An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up.
• Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.
• Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.
• The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
• How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
• So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.
• But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
• What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
• What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
• It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.
Last time when Anna sat on fast:
• 6 corrupt ministers in Maharashtra had to resign
• 400 corrupt officers were dismissed from job
• 2002 – Maharashtra RTI Act was passed
• 2006 – Central Government withdrew its proposal to amend Central RTI Act