The great quickfix
- Congress fields local MLA Ajay Rai from Varanasi to take on Modi, Kejriwal
- Mamata Banerjee seeks removal of Vinod Zutshi from EC
- Kejriwal slapped again, second attack in last four days
- Bihar: BJP attacks Nitish over CRPF officer's death, calls for probe
- April 8 Campaign roundup: TDP, BJP still grappling with seat sharing issues; Mamata seeks removal of Vinod Zutshi from EC
There is still no compelling rationale for the lokpal. It is either too much or too little
Even as the Lokpal Bill began its journey through the Rajya Sabha, the two men who had crusaded most ardently for it expressed diametrically opposed views on it. Arvind Kejriwal, AAP leader, called it a "jokepal", and said that the final version approved by the cabinet was so feeble that it could not even catch a mouse. Anna Hazare, the veteran activist who is on a fast for the bill to be passed, said it could catch a lion. There, between those two conceptions, lies the problem. A bill intended to create an independent ombudsman has been weighed down with a whole range of infeasible expectations, and is always too much or too little, depending on how you perceive it.
The original Jan Lokpal Bill had envisaged a heavy and unaccountable bureaucracy — a single authority that would merge other investigative agencies into it and have the power to initiate proceedings, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption, finish the probe and recover the money in two years. It had wanted the body to be comprised of "eminent citizens", Magsaysay winners and the like, to sit in judgement over nasty public officials. Thankfully, the bill that is now in Parliament has gone through several rounds of consultation in the legislature and executive, and these filters have taken out some of the more draconian provisions and created a version that is more mindful of institutional balances.
- HC frowns at harassment of tenants in old buildings
- Rai Cong’s local man against Modi, Kejriwal
- Baig death order: Final hearing in HC on June 16
- Centre allows use of bull in Jallikattu, sets guidelines
- Injured trying to defuse bomb, CRPF man cries for help on TV
- SC notice to Haryana on land use for Faridabad hospital