puts Govt on notice, warns another fast
*Par Panel for exclusion of judiciary
RALEGAN SIDDHI/NEW DELHI,
Nov 29: Putting the Government on
notice on Lokpal issue, Anna Hazare today
threatened to go on an indefinite fast in
Delhi from December 27 while terming that
the draft report by Parliamentary
Standing Committee as a
"betrayal" of countrymen.
said he did want the Government to
"make a fool of us" on the
issue. Hazare also announced that he will
sit on a one-day fast in Delhis
Jantar Mantar on December 11.
In a bid
pressurise Congress, the activist also
sought to corner the ruling party saying
he will tour the five poll- bound states
and tell electorate how the Government
was betraying them on the Lokpal Bill.
74-year-old activist said his indefinite
fast will be at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi
from December 27 if a strong bill was not
passed during the winter session of
Parliament. If it happens, it will be his
third indefinite fast this year on the
Government has assured us that there will
be a strong Lokpal bill. We were given an
assurance by the Parliament. Now the
Standing Committee report is out. When I
saw the report, I realised that they have
again betrayed the countrymen. Government
has committed deceit," he said.
is strong about this Lokpal Bill? How is
it powerful?" he told reporters
also sought to attack Dr Manmohan Singh
saying that despite the Prime Minister
giving it in writing, the Standing
Committee did not adhere to the
assurances of Parliament.
wondered why NGOs and media were brought
under the ambit of Lokpal. "On one
hand, you are including media and NGOs
but on the other hand, you do not want
the Prime Minister and MPs. This is not
fair," he said.
Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and
Kiran Bedi also joined the chorus against
the draft report, questioning the
exclusion of judiciary from the ambit of
the ombudsman while opposing inclusion of
NGOs and media in it.
is the Prime Minister afraid of
submitting himself to the Lokpal? If you
are clean, then there is no need to be
scared," he said.
noted that Parliament has passed a
resolution saying that lower bureacracy
will be included under the ambit of
Lokpal besides providing for
Citizens Charter and setting up
Lokayuktas in States.
the Standing Committee says no even after
the Prime Minister gives it in writing.
What is this Government all about? Now
there is a change. There is a
betrayal...We dont want the
Government to make a fool of us," he
said adding the draft recommendations do
not help in tackling corruption.
took exception to the exclusion of lower
bureaucracy, judiciary and CBI under the
ambit of Lokpal.
issue of lower bureaucracy, Hazare said
if they are not included in the law, poor
people will suffer. "We were
demanding every section, from top to
bottom, under Lokpal. Poor people cannot
get their work done without paying
bribe," he said.
He said it
was very necessary that the
anti-corruption wing of CBI be under
Lokpal to ensure that there is no
interference from the Government in its
functioning. "One of the reason for
corruption is Government
to the panels draft report,
Kejriwal sought to remind the Government
of the Parliamentary resolution that led
to Anna Hazare ending his fast on August
28, saying he hoped it would be
Anna ended his fast, Parliament agreed to
a resolution that stated clearly on lower
bureaucracy and Citizens Charter.
We just hope that resolution is
respected," he said.
ruling out the inclusion of judiciary
under the ambit of Lokpal, a
Parliamentary panel which scrutinised the
measure, has recommended a revamp of the
appointment process of judges of the
Supreme Court and the High Courts.
report on the Lokpal Bill, which has been
circulated to members and would come up
for finalisation tomorrow, says if
judiciary is brought under the purview of
Lokpal, the end result would be the
possible and potential prosecution of
even an apex court judge before the
relevant magistrate exercising the
would lead to an extraordinarily piquant
and an untenable situation and would
undermine judicial independence at its
very root," the report said
identifying the judiciary as a
"separate and distinct organ"
of the State.
But at the
same time, the draft report recalled its
recommendations on the Judicial Standards
and Accountability Bill, 2010 tabled on
August 30 this year, and said the
judiciary cannot be left unpoliced and
reiterated that the process of judicial
appointments be revisited through a fresh
Committee again recommends, in the
present context of the Lokpal Bill, that
the entire appointment process of the
higher judiciary needs to be revamped and
reformed," the draft report states.
the present system of appointment process
"cannot be allowed and should not be
allowed to continue in the hands of a
self-appointed common law mechanism
created by a judicial order operating
since the early 90s."
Committee on Personnel and Law and
Justice has also recommended setting up
of a National Judicial Commission (NJC)
to create a "broad-based and
comprehensive model" for judicial
appointments, including, if necessary, by
way of amendment of Articles 124 and 217
of the Constitution.
report says the NJC should also be
entrusted with powers of both transfer
and criminal prosecution of judges for
desired, by amending the provisions of
the Constitution as they stand today,
such proposed NJC may also give the power
of dismissal or removal," the report
Minister Salman Khurshid, while
addressing a press conference here on
November 18, had said that the Government
was "today not looking at the
Judicial Commission. We are only looking
at improving the present regime and
ensuring that the present regime is
improved along with a statutory backing
of the code of conduct."
if he was not ruling out further
legislation for judicial accountability,
he had said "absolutely".
Judicial Standards and Accountability
Bill, 2010 does not refer to appointment
of judges, the same Committee in its
report on the measure had said that it
"unequivocally feels that the
present Bill deals only partially with
the problem and the main systematic
lacunae remain unaddressed".
Committee is of the view that the
Government has to move beyond an
incremental approach and give urgent and
due thought to a holistic legislation
encompassing the appointment process. To
ensure judicial accountability for
improved administration of justice,"
the report on Judicial Standards and
Accountability Bill had said in August.