Fate of Lokapal Bill

No Political party is interested in Civil society drafted Lokapal Bill version, because they do not want to dig their own grave, now they are playing divide and rule game with 2 Civil society groups, ultimatly they will pass their own version of lokapal bill which is harmless to Indian corrupt Politicians. Thats Fate of Lokapal bill

The current debate on the Lokpal Bill is split along two lines: the UPA’s draft and that of Team Anna Hazare. But now, not just the political establishment, other sections of “civil society” are standing up to call for a wider debate and cautioning against a rush to push any version through.

So while the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council may have made it clear that it wouldn’t discuss the Lokpal Bill, the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) — whose membership overlaps with that of the NAC — has indicated that it’s working on its own draft of an anti-corruption law.

This was evident at a two-day session that ended today, hosted by the NCPRI and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).

Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander, who are members of both the NCPRI and of the NAC sub-group that was initially working on the Lokpal Bill, argued for nurturing existing institutions and empowering them, rather than simply drafting new laws and creating new institutions.

Roy cautioned on defining “deadlines” for such a complex law. “There has to be wide public consultation and we need to take in suggestions, revisit the law and principles,” she said. “The process will take time. Personally, I have a great problem with deadlines. To just get a law and be burdened with it is not the answer. If you want the system to work, we must budget in some time in trying to enact a suitable solution. However, I am anxious that it all doesn’t lead to simply postponing it for the sake of it but we cannot rush through everything either.”

Echoing this was Shekhar Singh of NCPRI: “We hope those who are co-drafting this Bill with government ministers (a reference to Team Anna) will hear our point of view as we have heard theirs. We will go to all political parties and behave like we do in the pre-legislative process for any law. We are also hoping we can persuade the NAC to take this up again. Another point of view cannot be trivialized or brushed away. Legislation is the result of complex processes and we are ready for a serious discussion.”

Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachaao Aandolan argued for more “unity” in “civil society” and the “need for standing together with those who have brought up this issue of the Lokpal and respect the voice of the people and support the Jan Lokpal Bill.”

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