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Re: Response to PTI's News Report Published in "OUT LOOK INDIA" - LOK SATTA PARTY sees bid to divide civil society on campaign against corruption - Lok Satta Media Release Attached- Sep 25, 2011

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  • Surendra Srivastava
    *Media Release* (Hyderabad, 25/09/2011) ***Dr. JP sees bid to divide civil society o**n campaign against corruption* Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 25, 2011


      Media Release

      (Hyderabad, 25/09/2011)

      Dr. JP sees bid to divide civil society on campaign against corruption

      Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today termed remarks attributed to him, during deposition before the Parliamentary the Standing Committee on the Lokpal Bill, as a tissue of lies. The baseless and unfounded reports in a section of the media are nothing but a concerted attempt to sow seeds of division among civil society activists, Dr. JP said.

      (The reports said that Dr. JP in his deposition to the committee on September 23 and 24 feared that the Lokpal as envisaged by the Anna Hazare team would result in the creation of an extra constitutional authority and would be "dangerous for country).

      Dr. JP said in a media statement today that during his interaction with the committee that lasted two hours and forty-five minutes, there was no occasion for him to either refer to the Jan Lokpal Bill or criticize it. The discussion centered round incorporating strong provisions in the Bill before
      Parliament for combating corruption.

      Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta for the last 15 years has been advocating creation of a strong and independent anti corruption commission, strong, independent, and accountable crime investigation, independent prosecution, swift and sure punishment, including confiscation of properties, of those guilty of corruption.

      The Administrative Reforms Commission of which he was a member had emphatically recommended creation of a Lokpal/Rashtriya Lokayukta at the national level, Lokayuktas in States, and Lokadhikari (ombudsmen) in districts and local governments. It had suggested expansion of the definition of corruption, independent crime investigation, independent prosecution, and removal from service of public servants found guilty of corruption by the Lokpal/Lokayukta/Lokadhikari.

      Dr. JP said that he on behalf of the Lok Satta and the Foundation for Democratic Reforms advanced the same points as the ARC.

      He told the Standing Committee that the CBI and ACBs needed to be strengthened going by the fact that the only about 800 people are convicted in a year in corruption cases instituted by the CBI and ACBs, the lowest rate in the world. The total number of trial cases pending in the entire country is only 16,000.

      Dr. JP argued that once an official is found guilty of either omission or commission in a corruption case by the Lokapl/Lokayukta/Lokadhikari, he or she should be removed from service forthwith without further inquiry under Article 311 of the Constitution.

      To clear all doubts and dispel all misconceptions, Dr. JP said, he has decided to place his written representation to the Standing Committee in public domain. 




      For Lok Satta Party


      The Above media release is issued in response to PTI's following report published in "OUT LOOK INDIA"


                       Jan Lokpal Bill Criticised at Parliamentary Panel Meet
      PTI | NEW DELHI | SEP 24, 2011
      Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill today came under sharp criticism at a meeting of the Parliamentary panel examining various drafts of the proposed legislation with most witnesses terming the activist's version as "extra-constitutional".

      Legal and Constitutional experts, who deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, favoured strengthening of existing anti-graft institutions and keeping the judiciary, MPs and the Prime Minister out of the ambit of the proposed anti-corruption ombudsman.

      Jay Prakash Narayan of Lok Satta Party, Pratap Bhanu Mehta of Centre for Policy Research, Bar Council of India Chairman Ashok Parija, eminent counsel Harish Salve and Justice Party chief Udit Raj appeared before the Committee today.

      Narayan is said to have claimed that the Jan Lokpal, as proposed by Hazare, would become a "super constitutional body" that would be "dangerous" for the country.

      He favoured setting up a National Judicial Commission to look into matters related to the judiciary, including allegations of corruption.

      Salve is learnt to have told the Committee that setting up the Jan Lokpal would be "unconstitutional" as it would lead to creation of a monolithic authority that would destroy the liberties enjoyed under the Constitution.

      He is understood to have favoured strengthening of existing laws like the Prevention of Corruption Act and also strengthen institutions like the CBI and the CVC.

      Salve also favoured an independent prosecution wing for the CBI so that the agency can press for prosecution without waiting for the government to provide it with law officers to argue cases in courts.

      He also favoured non-interference from the government in the investigations being carried out by the CBI.

      Mehta and Parija were understood to have favoured upholding the sanctity of Article 105 that grants certain rights and privileges on members of Parliament for their conduct inside the House.

      Mehta is learnt to have favoured keeping the office of the Prime Minister and NGOs out of the ambit of the Lokpal.

      He contended that bringing Prime Minister, the CEO of the country, under the Lokpal would weaken Parliament.

      Parija, who appeared before the Committee along with representatives of state Bar Council, felt that introducing a Citizen's Charter would be an "effective and workable" mechanism to check corruption.

      He also favoured making CBI an independent Constitutional body which will be answerable to Parliament and not the government of the day.

      Salve wanted all NGOs -- both receiving government and private funds -- to be covered under the Lokpal.

      He is also understood to have told the Committee that the setting up of Jan Lokpal, as suggested by Hazare, would create an institution above the Supreme Court which would be a mockery of the Constitution.

      Narayan wanted the media to be kept out of the Lokpal ambit but wanted a "separate and effective" law to look into the functioning of the fourth estate.

      Lokpal will not be able to take this burden he felt and underlined that a separate law was necessary given the increasing instances of paid news and false news that have com to light recently.

      Meanwhile, Committee Chairman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the 10-hour discussions spread over two days were fruitful and intense and hoped that members would keep up the mo

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