Thursday, December 29, 2011

From Bimaru to booming?

All may not be hunky-dory in Bihar, but its CM and people deserve full marks for trying
Aditi Phadnis / New Delhi

All may not be hunky-dory in Bihar, but its CM and people deserve full marks for trying

A recent visit to Patna reinforced this impression: it is the most happening city in India. True, it is still dirty and unplanned. Traffic pretty much does as it likes. There is no sense of civic responsibility or ownership.

All this is exasperating because Patna is where you can reach out and touch change. A Miss Bihar contest is to be held in early 2012, revived since 2008. Before that, the last one was held in the 1970s. There were one or two in between but they lost credibility when the Miss Bihar title-holder turned out to be from Allahabad, and (oh no!) married! In 2008, the contest sank without a trace after some contestants alleged that the competition was rigged, stormed the stage, seized the microphone and started shouting slogans, alleging that the organisers had taken bribes to manipulate results.

Now the city is organising a marathon on 19 February, 2012. The organisers are a set of non-resident Biharis, one of whom has taken a three-month sabbatical from investment banking and is camping in Patna to make the arrangement. “The marathon would unleash a human energy that will send potent vibrations to the entire world about the arrival of Bihar and Biharis on unlimited growth path (sic). It will invite all to become stakeholders in the making of history in Bihar,” he says. The idea came to them, he says, because all great cities in the world have a marathon. So why not Patna?

Why not indeed?
It is not just Patna that appears to be prospering. Earlier this month, a young farmer in Nalanda, Sumant (no last name), set a new world record in paddy production. Sumant managed to grow 224 quintals of paddy per hectare beating the world record held by Chinese farm scientist Yuan Longping. He and four of his farmer friends used the System of Rice Intensification, a new technique that uses less water and seed than traditional methods but provides greater yields. All of them got fantastic yields.

But there are others who say all this doesn’t mean much. Bihar continues to have the lowest per capita power consumption in the country. It has an installed capacity of 600 Mw but the functional capacity is just 200 Mw. The Barh superthermal power station is coming up on Bihar land, but the state will get only 10 per cent of the power generated. Shortage of not just power but land is turning initially enthusiastic industry away from investment. Two major cycle plants were to come up in Bihar. They’ve shelved their plans. A cement company had announced it was setting up shop. It has gone back. An asbestos company looking to set up a plant found it could get no land. A major distillery and brewery acquisition brought foreign direct investment to Bihar earlier this year. But not much has been heard of it since.

There appears to be a revival of other disturbing trends. Kidnapping for ransom, everyone thought, had gone away. It has returned. Children are being kidnapped and one of them was killed when, putting their faith in the police, the parents refused to pay a ransom. Two traders have been looted in the last two weeks in the heart of Patna: the sum involved was Rs 18 lakh and Rs 45 lakh each. All this indicates organised crime and a contempt of law enforcement. Bihar’s road construction contracts were one way of getting criminal gangs, who enjoyed the patronage and protection of political personalities, off the roads. But now they’re back. Corruption at lower levels – the so-called C and D class employees – is rampant. A colleague recently lost a mobile phone. A policeman demanded Rs 200 to register a complaint. His argument: “you’ve lost a phone that cost Rs 10,000 — and you can’t pay Rs 200 to file a complaint?”

The biggest crisis Bihar is going to see is in agriculture. The last monsoon was good and it has been a bumper harvest of paddy. However, the state government’s procurement system is leaky and inefficient. The state has no milling capacity worth the name.

Planning Commission Advisor N C Saxena has charged that the Nitish Kumar government had failed to utilise a major chunk of funds provided for the centrally-sponsored schemes, depriving the state of subsidy to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore. “The reason is that there is no proper administrative system in Bihar that can maintain control over expenditure and transparency in implementation of these schemes,” he alleged. For example, Saxena said, under the National Rural Health Mission Bihar’s share stood at Rs 1,300 crore but the state received Rs 780 crore, while states like Tamil Nadu and West Bengal fully utilised the subsidy for Mid-Day Meals.

Ok, Bihar isn’t going to become a Tamil Nadu overnight. But the state has to be given full marks for trying. And as much as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his team, it is the Biharis who deserve support. All of India will be yelling “Go, Bihar, Go” in February.

Protest Against Team Anna's High handed campaign

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: डा वी एन शर्मा
Date: Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM
Subject:Protest Dharna at Azad Maidan: Against Team Anna's High handed campaign
To: bharat-chintan
डा वी एन शर्मा / Dr.V.N.Sharma
Cell No.9431102680,
Member, Secretariat, All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE),
Working Committee Member, Jan Sansad &
Chairman, Jharkhand Vigyan Manch
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: anilsadgopal
Date: 2011/12/28
Subject: [PMARC] Protest Dharna at Azad Maidan: Against Team Anna's High handed campaign
To: Dalits Media Watch
Cc: ram puniyani, ramesh patnaik, Madhu Prasad, G Haragopal, Mohit Pandey, Vikas Gupta

Dear Dr. Ram Puniyani,

Through you, I wish to congratulate the entire team that took the courageous and timely initiative in organising the Dharna to oppose “Anna Hazare’s highhanded demands for the Janlokpal above the people and the parliament”. Had I been in Mumbai at the time, I would have definitely been in the Dharna. You are absolutely right in diagnosing the Anna movement as an “assault on democracy and pluralism”. Indeed, there is much more to it than what meets the eye. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, there is definitely a design of steadily destroying the credibility of various democratic structures and provisions as provided in the Constitution. Nothing else would have pleased the global capital more!

The unprecedented financial and media support from India Inc calls for an in-depth examination of the political agenda of Team Anna. Long standing grassroots movements sustained over decades in India could never receive media attention anywhere close to what Anna Hazare'a movement managed to get within a period of few months. The flow of finance from international funding agencies and their NGOs in the country is not something that can be ignored any longer. Ford Foundation and such other agencies, American capital’s Think Tanks in particular, have long been known to have been responsible for their anti-democratic interventions in Latin America. Times magazine’s plans to put Anna on its front cover is yet another reason for investigating the socio-political character of Team Anna’s politics. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to undertake a comprehensive analysis of all these aspects.

None of this, however, detracts attention from the corrupt and anti-people political class and its collusion with the India Inc and global capital in eating into democratic and social fabric of the country. But that calls for a political engagement that is entirely different from what Team Anna is pursuing.

I am willing to grant that there might be one or two members of Team Anna who are there without realizing the inherent dangers but then neither naïveté nor immaturity may be cited as grounds for justifying or rationalizing anti-democratic politics.

Pl do let me know of your future plans for making the public aware of the dangers of Anna Hazare’s politics and send me the report, if any, of the Dharna.

In solidarity,

- Anil Sadgopal

--- On Sat, 24/12/11, prashantbhush wrote:
From: prashantbhush
Subject: [PMARC] Protest Dharna at Azad Maidan: Against Team Anna's High handed campaign
To: "Dalits Media Watch"
Date: Saturday, 24 December, 2011, 5:01 PM

Dear Puniani ji,
I am surprised that you are participating in this Dharna.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone


From: "ram.puniyani"
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 11:41:45 +0000 (GMT)
To: Dalits Media Watch
ReplyTo: "Dalits Media Watch"
Subject: [PMARC] Protest Dharna at Azad Maidan: Against Team Anna's High handed campaign
-Dharna to oppose Anna Hazare’s Highhanded demands for the Janlokpal above the people and the parliament.

The Anna Movement has taken a very authoritarian touch. It is trying to dictate terms to the highest democratic organization of the country, the Parliament. The attempt to impose a parallel oligarchic structure on the Nation is fraught with dangers and is a deliberate attempt to undermine the democratic ethos of the country. To protest against this Anna assault on democracy and pluralism of the country, a Dharna has been organized as under.

On 22,23, and 24 December
Venue Azad Maidan- 11 Am Onwards
By Save Democracy: Save India

National Campaign for Equal Opportunities, All India Secular Forum, Indians for Justice and many other organizations are participating.

On 24th December Kumar Ketkar, Adv. Zuber Azmi, Sunil Kadam, Dr. Vivek Korde, Mr. Farid and Ram Puniyani will speak amongst others. (Around 2.30 PM onwards)

Please join in large numbers to call the Team Anna bluff that THEY represent the nation and that they are ABOVE parliament


Lokpal Legislation Debate Require Calmer Consideration

Rajindar Sachar

The debate in Parliament on the proposed Lokpal legislation has unfortunately touched a low nadir; instead of discussing the legislation in a sober atmosphere and with conscious effort to arrive at as much consensus as possible, the parties instead indulged in mutual attacks.

Governments furtive slip in of various quotas including the minorities was a deliberate ploy with on eye on U.P. Elections, notwithstanding the doubt on legality of it expressed by former Supreme Court Judges and jurists. Could even any one imagine that the selection committee of Prime Minister, leader of opposition, irrespective of their party affiliation and non political Chief Justice of India that they would not include as members from the amongst Muslims, and women, when any number of them are available on their own merit. Why this non issue was loud mouthed unless it is a device to stall the Lokpal legislation. Let us not forget that these Mulayam / Lallu groups were the ones who sabotaged women Reservation bill by wantonly insisting a sub quota in Women Reservation Bill thus embarrassing Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj who had earlier without any embarrassment embraced and congratulated each other at their victory in Lok Sabha, but had to beat a retreat in Rajya Sabha

The suggestion that if there are any allegations against the Prime Minister they would be decoratively pigeon holded and brought out after he had remitted office (which may be even 5 years later) does not make any sense, Are we living in a democracy or under a kingship who was supposed to be a representative of Divine. Recently a sitting Prime Minister of Italy who was forced to resign on corruption charge proved against him by a court magistrate.

Similarly Chirac, Prime minister of France has been sentenced to 7 years and the President of Israel being sent to jail on the grounds of moral impropriety.

The most contentions matter of C.B.I. remains unresolved. His appointment should be by a joint committee consisting of Lokpal and the standing committee of Parliament. Give C.B.I. director a fixed tenure for say five or 10 years. He should have full administrative control over the staff of C.B.I. and earmarked funds from the consolidated fund. There would be no interference with his day to day from the Central Government or Lokpal. However Lokpal would be entitled to ask or and receive reports from him at regular intervals and also authorized to convey its decisions on such matters. He shall not be removed from service except in the manner and on like grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court – the same manner of removal applies to the removal of Chief Election Commissioner.

I for one would not limit the choice necessarily to a police official and it could even be from outside the service. If it is decided to have a Chief Vigilance Commissioner, the same conditions and procedure will apply as applicable to Director of C.B.I.

Surprisingly not withstanding bitter wrangling on other aspects all members of the Parliament are unanimously agreeing to keep themselves immune from the ambit of Lokpal or even Directors C.B.I. for their corrupt actions and bribery if it is done inside the Parliament. To me this is scandalous and unacceptable.

In their defence Members of parliament invoke Article 105 of the Constitution, and the widely criticized majority judgment of (3 against 2) on in Narsimma Rao case (1999) (I believe the matter is referred to a larger bench).

The minority Judgment however warned that this interpretation could lead to charter for corruption so as to elevate Members of Parliament as “super-citizens, immune from criminal responsibility”. It would indeed be ironic if a claim for immunity from prosecution founded on the need to ensure the independence of Members of parliament in exercising their right to speak or cast their vote in Parliament, could be put forward by a Member who has bartered away his independence by agreeing to speak or vote in a particular manner in lieu of illegal gratification that has been paid or promised. By claiming the immunity such a Member would only be seeking a licence to indulge in such corrupt conduct. In other countries such a conduct of MPs is treated as criminal, since 1875 in Australia.

To invoke Article 253 of the constitution for enacting Lok Ayukat is of doubtful legality and imperishable in our federal set up. Surely no state can resist the public sentiment built for Lok Ayukat.

The matter of Lokpal is too important and needs to be discussed more seriously and not under pressure of forth coming elections in Punjab and especially of U.P. Also the panicky reaction of Central government to Anna Hazare threat of fast compounded by the opposition wanting to cash on it when they went to Anna Hazare sit in to cooze upto him. Their puerile excuse that they wanted to explain their point of view is unacceptable Political Parties hold their own meetings to explain their position to the public. We go to Jantar Mantar to show our solidarity with the victims of forced displacement, and the illegal actions of the government on the deprived poor. The parties do not go to the sit in of a person they are now wanting to deride and ridicule. Of course I agree that Anna Hazare has full rights to muster support and arouse masses and exercise his democratic rights – and to put pressure on the government and even the parliament, to pass a particular law because the ultimate sovereign are the people. But there is a caveat that this discussion requires a calmer atmosphere. Could the parties unanimously agree to adjourn the discussions to be after the pressure of U.P. Elections is over with a pledge to pass the legislation as first item when it begins the next session.

As a measure of his genuine concern for strong Lokpal Anna Hazare, on his part, one hopes would reciprocate by not going on fast. He can rest assured that peoples determination to have a strong Lokpal is not so weak, as to let government avoid its solemn pledge to pass the bill in the next session of the parliament – if the government further prevaricates it most know that consequences could be monumental and no government can remain in permanent confrontation with its real masters, the people of India.

DATED: 28/12/2011
New Delhi.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

पटना में मजीठिया लागु करो को लेकर डाक बंगला चौराहा और टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया दफ्तर के सामने रोषपूर्ण प्रदर्शन

लाल रत्नाकर
पटना : आज मजीठिया वेज बोर्ड की अनुशंषाओं को लागू करने के लिए देशव्यापी अभियान के तहत सूबे-बिहार की राजधानी पटना में दी टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया निउज्पेपर एम्प्लोयीस यूनियन पटना और पी.टी.आई. कर्मचारी यूनियन पटना के संयुक्त अभियान में शहर के मशहूर डाक बंगला चौक पर जोशो-खरोश के साथ नारेबाजी के साथ एक घंटे तक कार्यक्रम चलाने के बाद प्रदर्शानकारी पत्रकार और गैर पत्रकार कर्मियों का शानदार जुलुस के रूप में शहर के मुख्य मार्ग फ्रेजर रोड से गुजरते हुए टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया पटना के दफ्तर के सामने पहुंचा.टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया एम्प्लोयीस यूनियन के सचिव लाल रत्नाकर, मनीष कुमार, अशोक कुमार, सदानंद,फुलेश्वर झा, राकेश सिंह,तारकेश्वर सिंह अदि के नेतृत्व में यह जुलूस जब टाइम्स के पटना दफ्तर के सामने पहुंचा मानो प्रदर्शनकारियो में नई उर्जा का संचार सा हो गया और जुलुस के नारों की आवाज़ तेज से तेजतर होती गई.

यहाँ आकर जुलूस के स्वर कुछ और कटु से हो गए. मालूम हो कि पिछले १६ जुलाई २०११ को यहाँ टाइम्स प्रबंधन ने अपना कुम्हरार स्थित प्रिंटिंग प्रेस बंद कर दिया और वहां काम कर रहे ४४ कर्मियों को उस स्थिति में नौकरी से बाहर का रास्ता दिखला दिया जब कि उनका मजीठिया वेतन बोर्ड के बकाये का विवाद सुप्रीम कोर्ट में चल रहा था. दीवानी और फौजदारी दोनों ही किस्म के मामले सुप्रीम कोर्ट में न्याय निर्णय की प्रतीक्षा में निलंबित परे थे. फौजदारी मामले में सुप्रीम कोर्ट की बेंच ने ५ जनवरी २०११ को उस तारीख में जो स्थिति वहां थी वह यथास्थति बनाये रखने का स्टेटस को का आदेश पारित किया हुआ था. और उस दिन से ही वहां हटाये गए मजदूरों का शांतिपूर्ण धरना जारी है. वैसे भी आइ. डी.एक्ट के तहत विवाद के चालू रहने की स्थिति में कर्मियों के वोर्किंग कंडीसन में परिवर्तन कानून के खिलाफ बताया गया है. यहाँ टाइम्स प्रबंधन ने प्रिंटिंग प्रेस ही बंद कर दी.

टाइम्स यूनियन की ओर से मनीसाना से जुड़े फौजदारी मुक़दमे में दखल देते हुए प्रबंधन की इस गैर क़ानूनी हरकत की सूचना सुप्रीम कोर्ट बेंच को दी है. यूनियन के अध्यक्ष अरुण कुमार जो बिहार श्रमजीवी पत्रकार यूनियन पटना के महासचिव हैं और प्रेस काउन्सिल ऑफ़ इंडिया के सदस्य भी हैं ने इस हरकत की सूचना सुप्रीम कोर्ट को दी है. मालूम हो कि इस बीच टाइम्स यूनियन पटना के सह सचिव दिनेश कुमार सिंह की मौत धरना के दरम्यान इलाज के बिना हो गई. मनीसाना वेतन बकाये की विवाद की स्थति के दरम्यान इलाज के बिना आनंद राम,शुकुल राम और दिनेश कुमार सिंह की इलाज के बिना मौत हो गई, यूनियन की लड़ाई को कमजोर करने की नीयत से चार कर्मियों रामनाथ सिंह, संजीव सरकार, सिंघेस्वर राम को नौकरी से निकाल बाहर कर दिया गया.गैर पत्रकार कर्मियों के अधिकांश के बेटे-बेटियों की पढाई लिखी छूट गई, शादियाँ रुक गई या बाधित हुई. ऐसी स्थिति में वहां के कर्मियों में गुस्सा अस्वाभाविक नहीं है.

कर्मियों ने वहां मजीठिया लागू करो, कर्मचारी विरोधी हरकतों से बाज आओ, सुप्रीम कोर्ट की अवमानना बंद करो, कानून से अपने कॉर्पोरेट सिटिज़न की ताकत ज्यादा है समझने की मानसिकता से बहार आओ जैसे नारे लगाये. सूत्र बताते हैं कि पत्रकारों और गैर पत्रकार कर्मियों के गुस्से को देखते हुए प्रबंधन के अधिकांश सदस्य दूसरे और तीसरे तल्ले पर भाग खड़े हुए. मगर प्रदर्शनकारियों ने स्वयम को संयम नहीं खोने दिया और दफ्तर के सामने नारे लगाते रहे. यह भी गौर तलब है कि यह प्रदर्शन टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया यूनियन के अध्यक्ष अरुण कुमार की अनुपस्थिति में हुआ और पूरी तरह अनुशाषित रहा. यह यूनियन की प्रौढ़ता की निशानी है.

Bhojpuri speaking Purvanchal state to comprise of 22 districts?

Ahead of seven phase election that will commence from February 4, 2012, Uttar Pradesh Assembly has passed a resolution to split the state into four states-Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Paschim Pradesh. She had proposed to carve Purvanchal in 2007. Bhojpuri speaking Purvanchal will comprise of 22 eastern districts adjoining Bhojpuri speaking districts of Bihar. At some stage both these regions will have to merged. The oting for the assembly election will conclude on February 28, 2012.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has supported Mayawati's stand to carve out four new states from UP saying, "We are, in principle, in favour of formation of smaller states...We have been a votary of smaller states for fostering a new era of development."

Voting in Purvanchal is likely to be supportive of Mayawati because of her support for the creation of a new state.

Purvanchal is a geographic region of north-central India, which comprises the eastern end of Uttar Pradesh state. It is bounded by Nepal to the north, Bihar state to the east, Bagelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh state to the south, the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh to the west. Purvanchal comprises three divisions – Awadhi region in the west, Bhojpuri region in the east and the Baghelkhand region in the south.

Indian freedom fighter Mangal Pandey was born in Purvanchal's Nagwa village in Ballia on 19 July 1827 and was executed on 8th April 1857 at Barrackpore, Kolkata. He was a sepoy (soldier) in the 34th Regiment of the Bengala Native Infantry (BNI) of the English East India Company.

The area of Purvanchal state gave four Prime Ministers to India - Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, VP Singh and Chandra Shekhar. The land is favourable for agriculture but lack of resources has kept the area backward for years.

Its population is 7.653 crore. Its per capita income is Rs 9,288.12. It will provide 32 Lok Sabha seats and 150 assembly seats.

The names of districts are as under:
Ghazipur, Azamgarh, Mau, Ballia, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Siddharth Nagar, Allahabad, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Pratapgarh, Sant Ravidas Nagar-Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Varanasi, Jaunpur, Chandauli

Purvanchal area is represented by 23 Members of Parliament to the lower house of Indian Parliament, and 117 legislators in the 403 member Uttar Pradesh state assebly or Vidhan Sabha.

Menwhile, the Congress-led UPA government has returned the proposal to split UP into four parts saying that it has been "poorly drafted". This has thrown the ball back into the court of UP chief minister. UP assembly had passed a resolution on state's division on November 21.

The Union home ministry has raised eight questions over the state government proposal including the economic feasibility of the entire exercise. It has asked about the boundaries of the four proposed states, districts, capitals, district-wise population and area, number of IAS officers in each state, how existing administrative units will be divided and what will be the revenue sharing criterion between the states.

Home ministry has asked how the state's huge debt burden will be divided. According to CAG report, the state government has spent around 97% of the funds raised though borrowings towards the payment of its debts, which are exceeding over Rs 1,80,000 crore. Reports also suggested that UP's public debt is likely to touch Rs 2,04,000 crore in 2011-12 against Rs 1,80,000 in 2010-11.

Sources in the UP government has said home ministry letter is part of bureaucratic interaction, "It's not the case of ministry of home affairs (MHA) rejecting the proposal, rather the correspondence is requesting some added clarifications on the state division proposal and that would be provided within due course".

The "UP reorganisation proposal' is being opposed by most of UP's opposition parties although it is meant for better administration and development. Mayawati cited the example of Telangana and accused the Congress of fooling people demanding separate statehood. BJP has been saying that the division of the state should be done through the State Organisation Commission. Rashtriya Lok Dal which had supported division of UP has joined the UPA government.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

UP's 11 crore voters to vote for 403 seats

Schedule for the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

The terms of the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will expire as follows:

Goa 14.06.2012
Manipur 15.03.2012
Punjab 14.03.2012
Uttar Pradesh 20.05.2012
Uttarakhand 12.03.2012

As per the established practice, the Election Commission holds the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of the States whose terms expire around the same time, together. By virtue of its powers, duties and functions under Article 324 read with Article 172(1) of the Constitution of India, Section 15 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Commission is required to hold elections to constitute the new Legislative Assemblies in
the s a i d States of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand before expiry of their present terms.

The total number of Assembly Constituencies in the States of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, as determined by the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 2008, are as under:

State Total No. of ACs Reserved for SC Reserved for ST

Goa 40 1 -
Manipur 60 1 19
Punjab 117 34 -
Uttar Pradesh 403 85 -
Uttarakhand 70 13 2

The electoral rolls of all the existing Assembly Constituencies in the States
of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are being revised, with
reference to 01.01.2012 as the qualifying date, and shall be finally published on
02.01.2012. As per the draft publication of electoral rolls, the number of electors
in these States were as follows:-

State Total No. of Electors as per draft publication

Goa 1011673
Manipur 1677270
Punjab 17433408
Uttar Pradesh 111916689
Uttarakhand 5740148


Photo electoral rolls will be used during the forthcoming general elections.
Photo percentages in Photo electoral rolls of these States are as follows:

Goa 100
Manipur 97.29
Punjab 99.50
Uttar Pradesh 98
Uttarakhand 99.6

Identification of Voters and Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC)

Identification of the voters at the polling booth at the time of poll shall be
mandatory. Electors who have been provided with EPIC shall be identified
through EPIC only.

As mentioned above, presently, the EPIC coverage in the poll going States is:
Goa 98.06
Manipur 87.2
Punjab 99.66
Uttar Pradesh 98.5
Uttarakhand 99.8

All the residual electors are advised to obtain their Electoral Photo Identity
Cards from the Electoral Registration Officers of their Assembly Constituency
In order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her
name figures in the Electoral Rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow
additional documents for identification of voters, if needed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

UID का सच

दिसम्बर १३ को वित्त की संसदीय समिति की जो रिपोर्ट संसद के दोनों सदनों में पेश की गयी उसने ये जगजाहिर कर दिया की भारत सरकार की शारीरिक हस्ताक्षर या जैवमापन (बायोमेट्रिक्स) आधारित विशिष्ट पहचान अंक (यू.आई.डी./आधार परियोजना) असंसदीय, गैरकानूनी, दिशाहीन और अस्पष्ट है और राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा और नागरिक अधिकारों के लिए खतरनाक है। बायोमेट्रिक पहचान तकनीक और ख़ुफ़िया तकनीक के बीच के रिश्तो की पड़ताल अभी बाकी है.

यह संसदीय रिपोर्ट कहती है की सरकार ने विश्व अनुभव की अनदेखी की है. इस बात पर ध्यान नहीं दिया गया की मौजूदा पहचान प्रणाली को कारगर कैसे बनाया जाए. हैरानी की बात है की जल्दबाजी में ऐसी कोई तुलनात्मक अध्ययन भी नहीं की गयी जिससे यह पता चलता की मौजूदा पहचान प्रणाली कितनी सस्ती है और आधार और जनसँख्या रजिस्टर जैसी योजनाये कितनी खर्चीली है. आजतक किसी को यह नहीं पता है की आधार और जनसँख्या रजिस्टर पर कुल अनुमानित खर्च कितना होगा.

सरकार यह दावा कर रही थी कि यह परियोजना को देशवासियों और नागरिको को सामाजिक सुविधा उपलब्ध कराने की परियोजना है. अब यह पता चला है की इस योजना के पैरोकार गाड़ियो और जानवरों पर भी ऐसी ही योजना लागु करने की सिफारिश कर चुके है, ये बाते परत दर परत सामने आ रही है. यह परियोजना १४ विकासशील देशो में फ्रांस, दक्षिण कोरिया और संयुक्त राष्ट्र अमेरिका की कंपनियों और विश्व बैंक के एक पहल के जरिये लागु किया जा रहा है. दक्षिण एशिया में यह पाकिस्तान में लागु हो चुका है और नेपाल और बंगलादेश में लागु किया जा रहा है.
संसदीय समिति ने कानुनविदों, शिक्षाविदो और मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ताओ की इस बात को माना है की यह देशवासियों के निजी जीवन पर एक तरह का हमला है जिसे नागरिक स्वतंत्रता और मानवाधिकार के हनन के रूप में ही समझा जा सकता है. समिति ने अपनी रिपोर्ट में ब्रिटेन सरकार द्वारा ऐसे ही पहचानपत्र कानून 2006 को समाप्त करने के फैसले का भी जिक्र किया है जिसका उद्धरण देश के न्यायाधिशो ने दिया था.

भारत में इस बात पर कम ध्यान दिया गया है कि कैसे विराट स्तर पर सूचनाओं को संगठित करने की धारणा चुपचाप सामाजिक नियंत्रण, युद्ध के उपकरण और जातीय समूहों को निशाना बनाने और प्रताड़ित करने के हथियार के रूप में विकसित हुई है। भारत के निर्धनतम लोगों तक पहुंचने में 12 अंकों वाला आधार कार्ड सहायक होने का दावा करने वाले इस विशिष्ट पहचान परियोजना का विश्व इतिहास के सन्दर्भ में नहीं देखा गया।

खासतौर पर जर्मनी और आमतौर पर यूरोप के अनुभवों को नजरअंदाज करके, निशानदेही को सही मानकर वित्तमंत्री ने 2010-2011 का बजट संसद में पेश करते हुए फर्माया कि यू.आई.डी. परियोजना वित्तीय योजनाओं को समावेशी बनाने और सरकारी सहायता (सब्सिडी) जरूरतमंदों तक ही पहुंचाने के लिए उनकी निशानदेही करने का मजबूत मंच प्रदान करेगी। जबकि यह बात दिन के उजाले की तरह साफ है कि निशानदेही के यही औज़ार किसी खास धर्मो, जातियों, क्षेत्रों, जातीयताओं या आर्थिक रूप से असंतुष्ट तबकों के खिलाफ भी इस्तेमाल में लाए जा सकता हैं। भारत में राजनीतिक कारणों से समाज के कुछ तबकों का अपवर्जन लक्ष्य करके उन तबकों के जनसंहार का कारण बना- 1947 में, 1984 में और सन् 2002 में। अगर एक समग्र अध्ययन कराया जाए तो उससे साफ हो जाएगा कि किस तरह संवेदनशील निजी जानकारियां और आंकड़े जिन्हें सुरक्षित रखा जाना चाहिए था, वे हमारे देश में दंगाइयों और जनसंहार रचाने वालों को आसानी से उपलब्ध थे।

भारत सरकार भविष्य की कोई गारंटी नहीं दे सकती। अगर नाजियों जैसा कोई दल सत्तारूढ़ होता है तो क्या गारंटी है कि यू.आई.डी. के आंकड़े उसे प्राप्त नहीं होंगे और वह बदले की भावना से उनका इस्तेमाल नागरिकों के किसी खास तबके के खिलाफ नहीं करेगा? योजना योग की यू.आई.डी. और गृह मंत्रालय की राष्ट्रीय जनसंख्या रजिस्टर वही सब कुछ दोहराने का मंच है जो जर्मनी, रूमानिया, यूरोप और अन्य जगहों पर हुआ जहां वह जनगणना से लेकर नाजियों को यहूदियों की सूची प्रदान करने का माध्यम बना। यू.आई.डी. का नागरिकता से कोई संबंध नहीं था, वह महज निशानदेही का साधन है। दरअसल यह जनवरी 1933 से जनवरी 2011 तक के ख़ुफ़िया निशानदेही के प्रयासों का सफरनामा है।
इस पृष्ठभूमि में, ब्रिटेन की साझा सरकार द्वारा विवादास्पद राष्ट्रीय पहचानपत्र योजना को समाप्त करने का निर्णय वैसे ही स्वागत योग्य है जैसे अपनी संसदीय समिति की अनुसंसा ताकि नागरिकों की निजी जिंदगियों में हस्तक्षेप से उनकी सुरक्षा हो सके। पहचानपत्र कानून 2006 और स्कूलों में बच्चों की उंगलियों के निशान लिए जाने की प्रथा का खात्मा करने के साथ-साथ ब्रिटेन सरकार अपना राष्ट्रीय पहचानपत्र रजिस्टर बंद कर देगी। वह की सरकार ने घोषणा की है की अगले कदम में (बायोमेट्रिक) जैवसांख्यिकीय पासपोर्ट, सम्पर्क-बिन्दुओं पर इकट्ठा किये जाने वाले आंकड़ों तथा इंटरनेट और ई-मेल के रिकार्ड का भंडारण खत्म किया जाएगा।

पिछले साल 18 मई की प्रेस विज्ञप्ति में भारत सरकार ने बताया था कि कैबिनेट कमेटी ने भारतीय विशिष्ट पहचान प्राधिकरण द्वारा निवासियों के जनसांख्यिकीय और बायोमेट्रिक आंकड़ों को इकट्ठा करने की जो पद्धति सुझाई गई है, उसे सिद्धांततः स्वीकार कर लिया है। इसमें चेहरे, नेत्रगोलक (पारितारिका) की तस्वीर लेने और सभी दस उंगलियों के निशान लेने का प्रावधान है। इसमें 5 से 15 आयुवर्ग के बच्चों के नेत्रगोलक के आंकड़े इकट्ठा करना शामिल है। इन्हीं मानकों और प्रक्रियाओं को जनगणना के लिए रजिस्ट्रार जनरल आफ इंडिया और यू.आई.डी. व्यवस्था के अन्य रजिस्ट्रारों को भी अपनाना पड़ेगा। संसदीय समिति ने सरकार के इस कदम को असैधानिक और कार्यपालिका के अधिकार से बाहर पाया.
भारत की आधार परियोजना की ही तरह ब्रिटेन में भी इसका कभी कोई उद्देश्य बताया जाता था, कभी कोई। इस परियोजना को गरीबों के नाम पर थोपा जा रहा था. कहा जा रहा था कि पहचान का मसला राशन कार्ड, ड्राइविंग लाइसेंस, पासपोर्ट, बैंक खाता, मोबाइल कनेक्शन आदि लेने में अवरोध उत्पन्न करता है। पहचान अंक पत्र गरीब नागरिकों को शिक्षा, स्वास्थ्य और वित्तीय सेवाओं सहित अनेक संसाधन प्राप्त करने योग्य बनाएगा। ब्रिटेन की बदनाम हो चुकी परियोजना के पदचिन्हों पर चलते हुए यह भी कहा जा रहा था कि पहचान अंकपत्र से बच्चों को स्कूल में दाखिले में मदद मिलेगी। ब्रिटेन सरकार के हाल के निर्णय के बाद कहीं भारत में भी इस परियोजना को तिलांजलि न दे देनी पड़े, इस बात की आशंका के चलते अब सरकार के द्वारा कहा जा रहा था यह वैकल्पिक है अनिवार्य नहीं जबकि हकीकत कुछ और ही थी।
योजना मंत्रालय की आधार यानि यू.आई.डी. योजना से गृह मंत्रालय का राष्ट्रीय जनसंख्या रजिस्टर (एन.पी.आर.) परियोजना शुरू से ही जुडा हुआ था जिसका खुलासा प्रधानमन्त्री द्वारा दिसम्बर ४, २००६ को गठित शक्ति प्राप्त मंत्रिसमूह की घोषणा से होता है जिसकी तरफ कम ध्यान दिया गया है. । यह पहली बार है कि जनसंख्या रजिस्टर बनाई जा रही है। इसके जरिए रजिस्ट्रार जनरल आफ इंडिया जो की सेन्सस कमिश्नर भी है देशवासियों के आंकड़ों का भंडार तैयार करेंगे। यह समझ जरुरी है कि जनगणना और राष्ट्रीय जनसंख्या रजिस्टर अलग-अलग चीजें हैं। जनगणना जनसंख्या, साक्षरता, शिखा, आवास और घरेलू सुविधाओं, आर्थिक गतिविधि, शहरीकरण, प्रजनन दर, मृत्युदर, भाषा, धर्म और प्रवासन आदि के संबंध में बुनियादी आंकड़ों का सबसे बड़ा स्रोत है जिसके आधार पर केंद्र व राज्य सरकारें योजनाएं बनती हैं और नीतियों का क्रियान्वयन करती हैं, जबकि राष्ट्रीय जनसंख्या रजिस्टर देशवासियों और नागरिकों के पहचान संबंधी आंकड़ों का समग्र भंडार तैयार करने का काम करेगा। इसके तहत व्यक्ति का नाम, उसके माता, पिता, पति/पत्नी का नाम, लिंग, जन्मस्थान और तारीख, वर्तमान वैवाहिक स्थिति, शिक्षा, राष्टीयता, पेशा, वर्तमान और स्थायी निवास का पता जैसी तमाम सूचनाओं का संग्रह किया जाएगा। इस आंकड़ा-भंडार में 15 साल की उम्र से उपर सभी व्यक्तियों की तस्वीरें और उनकी उंगलियों के निशान भी रखे जाएंगे।

राष्ट्रीय जनसंख्या रजिस्टर के आंकड़ो-भंडार को अंतिम रूप देने के बाद, अगला कार्यभार होगा हर नागरिक को विशिष्ट पहचान पत्र प्रदान करना। प्रस्तावित यह था कि पहचानपत्र एक तरह का स्मार्ट-कार्ड होगा जिसके उपर आधार पहचान अंक के साथ व्यक्ति का नाम, उसके माता, पिता, पति/पत्नी का नाम, लिंग, जन्मस्थान और तारीख, फोटो आदि बुनियादी जानकारियां छपी होंगी। सम्पूर्ण विवरण का भंडारण चिप में होगा।
ब्रिटेन की ही तरह यहां भी 1.2 अरब लोगों को विशिष्ट पहचान अंक देने की कवायद को रोके जाने की जरूरत thi, क्योंकि मानवाधिकार उलंघन की दृष्टि से इसके खतरे कल्पनातीत है इसे संसदीय समिति ने समझा है । बिना संसदीय सहमती के 13वें वित्त आयोग ने प्रति व्यक्ति 100 रूपए और प्रति परिवार 400-500 रूपए गरीब परिवारों को विशिष्ट पहचान अंक के लिए आवेदन करने हेतु प्रोत्साहन के बतौर दिए जाने का प्रावधान किया था। यह गरीबों को एक किस्म की रिश्वत ही है। इस उद्देश्य के लिए आयोग ने राज्य सरकारों को 2989.10 करोड़ की राशि मुहैया कराने की संस्तुति की है।
सवाल यह है की सरकार ने नागरिकों के अंगुलियों के निशान, नेत्रगोलक की छवि जैसे जैवमापक आंकड़ों का संग्रह करने के बारे में विधानसभाओं और संसद की मंजूरी क्यों नहीं ली और इस बात को क्यों नज़र अंदाज़ किया की ऐसी ही परियोजना को ब्रिटेन में समाप्त कर दिया गया है किया है.?
प्राधिकरण की ही जैवमापन मानक समिति (बायोमेट्रिक्स स्टैंडर्डस कमिटि) यह खुलासा किया कि जैवमापन सेवाओं के निष्पादन के समय सरकारी विभागों और वाणिज्यिक संस्थाओं द्वारा प्रामाणिकता स्थापित करने के लिए किया जाएगा। यहां वाणिज्यिक संस्थाओं को परिभाषित नहीं किया गया। जैवमापन मानक समिति जैवमापन में अमेरिका और यूरोप के पिछले अनुभवों का भी हवाला दिया और कहा कि जैवमापक आंकड़े राष्ट्रीय निधि हैं और उन्हें उनके मौलिक रूप में संरक्षित किया जाना चाहिए। समिति नागरिकों के आंकड़ाकोष को राष्ट्रीय निधि बताती है। यह निधि कब कंपनियों की निधि बन जाएगी कहा नहीं जा सकता.

संसदीय समिति ने यह समझा की ऐसी योजनाये सरकार आम नागरिक समाज के खिलाफ हथियार के रूप में इस्तेमाल हो सकते है. समिति इसे संसद के विशेषाधिकार का हनन का मामला मानती है कि विधेयक के पारित हुए बिना ही ३ करोड़ ७३ लाख यूनिक आइडेन्टटी नंबर/आधार संख्या बना लिए.
विशिष्ट पहचान अंक और राष्ट्रीय जनसंख्या रजिस्टर सरकार द्वारा नागरिकों पर नजर रखने के उपकरण हैं। ये परियोजनाएं न तो अपनी संरचना में और न ही अमल में निर्दोष हैं। विशिष्ट पहचान अंक प्राधिकरण के कार्य योजना प्रपत्र में कहा गया है कि विशिष्ट पहचान अंक सिर्फ पहचान की गारंटी है, अधिकारों, सेवाओं या हकदारी की गारंटी नहीं। आगे यह भी कहा गया है कि यह पहचान की भी गारंटी नहीं है, बल्कि पहचान नियत करने में सहयोगी है।

एक गहरे अर्थ में यशवंत सिन्हा की अध्यक्षता वाली संसद की स्थायी समिति विशिष्ट पहचान अंक जैसे ख़ुफ़िया उपकरणों द्वारा नागरिकों पर सतत नजर रखने और उनके जैवमापक रिकार्ड तैयार करने पर आधारित तकनीकी शासन की पुरजोर मुखालफत करने वाले व्यक्तियों, जनसंगठनों, जन आंदोलनों, संस्थाओं के अभियान का समर्थन करती है. समिति यह अनुसंसा करती है की संसद बायोमेट्रिक डाटा को इकठ्ठा करने के कृत्य की जांच करे. जनसंगठनों की मांग है की सी.ए.जी. विशिष्ट पहचान अंक प्राधिकरण की कारगुजारियों की जांच करे और इसके और जनसँख्या रजिस्टर द्वारा किये जा रहे कारनामो को तत्काल रोका जाये. देशवासियों के पास अपनी संप्रभुता को बचाने के लिए आधार अंक योजना और जनसँख्या रजिस्टर का बहिष्कार ही एक मात्र रास्ता है.

गौरतलब है की कैदी पहचान कानून, १९२० के तहत किसी भी कैदी के उंगलियों के निशान को सिर्फ मजिसट्रेट की अनुमति से लिया जाता है और उनकी रिहाई पर उंगलियों के निशान के रिकॉर्ड को नष्ट करना होता है. कैदियों के ऊपर होनेवाले जुल्म की अनदेखी की यह सजा की अब हर देशवासी को उंगलियों के निशान देने होंगे और कैदियों के मामले में तो उनके रिहाई के वक्त नष्ट करने का प्रावधान रहा है, इन योजनाओं के द्वारा देशवासियों के पूरे शारीरिक हस्ताक्षर का रिकॉर्ड रखा जा रहा है. यह एक ऐसे निजाम के कदमताल की गूंज है जो नागरिको को कैदी सरीखा मानता है. बायोमेट्रिक डाटाबेस आधारित राजसत्ता का आगाज हो रहा है बावजूद इसके जानकारी के अभाव में कुछ व्यस्त देशवासियों को बायोमेट्रिक तकनीक वाली कंपनियों के प्रति प्रचार माध्यम द्वारा तैयार आस्था चौकानेवाली है. मगर लाजवाब बात तो यह है की उन कर्मचारियों से यह आशा कैसे की जा सकती है की वो बायोमेट्रिक निशानदेही की मुखालफत करेंगे जो अपने दफ्तरों में बायोमेट्रिक हस्ताक्षर करके अन्दर जाते है. ऐसे में संसदीय समिति की सिफारिशों में एक उम्मीद की किरण दिखती है. कुछ राज्यों ने भी केंद्र सरकार को ऐसी परियोजनायो के संबध में आगाह किया है. संसद और राज्य की विधान सभाओ को संसदीय समिति के सिफारिशों को सरकार से अमल में लाने के लिए तत्काल निर्णय लेने होंगे.

गोपाल कृष्ण

गोपाल कृष्ण, लेखक जाने-माने सामजिक कार्यकर्ता एवं "ToxicsWatch Alliance " के संयोजक हैं..

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Press Conference on the explosive report of the Standing Committee on the Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number & National Population Register

Press Invite
Press Conference on the explosive report of the Standing Committee on the Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number and National Population Register (NPR)

Venue: Press Club, 1, Raisina Road, New Delhi

Time: 12 to 3 PM

Date: 22nd December, 2011


Justice A P Shah, former Chief Justice,Delhi and Madras High Court

Mr Raj Mathur, Free Software, OpenStandard and Privacy Activist

Prof. (Dr) Mohan Rao, Centre for Social Medicine & Community Health, JNU

Ms Kalyani Menon-Sen, Independent Researcher on Urban issues

Mr Chittaranjan Singh, General Secretary, INSAF

Mr Bezwada Wilson, Convenor, Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA)
Mr Anil Chaudhury, Director, PEACE

Dr Usha Ramanathan, noted Jurist

Mr Gopal Krishna, Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)

The report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee(PSC) on Finance has dealt a fatal blow to the UID project. In terming the project "directionless" and "conceptualised with no clarity of purpose", the Standing Committee report resonates with concerns that have been raised in civil society since the inception of the project. The PSC report endorses the issues raised in the Statement of Concern of Eminent Citizens that was released in New Delhi on September 28,2010 at the press conference in the Press Club.
Confidentiality of data, errors in enrolment, the linking up of data bases, the risks of outsourcing, duplication of enrolment and of costs have led the Standing Committee to the conclusion that this is a project that was carried on in haste and entirely lawless. Collection of biometrics, in both the UID project and the NPR, has been found to be illegal in both the UID project and the NPR.

This delegitimises the MoUs and contracts entered into by the UIDAI with multiple registrars including state governments and banks. The project has been asked to be taken back to the drawing board.

For Details:Ramesh, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Phone: +91-11-2651781,

Fax: +91-11-26517814, Mb: 9818089660

Saturday, December 17, 2011

मुंबई छोड़ दी मैने

डेढ़ दशक पहले की बात है. वह कोई 95-96 का समय था. पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश के जंघई जंक्शन से इलाहाबाद और इटारसी होते हुए एक किशोर मुंबई पहुंचा था. कैसे पहुंचा यह जाने बिना क्यों पहुंचा इसे समझना मुश्किल होगा. हम जिस इलाके में पैदा हुए वह स्वभाव से परजीवी इलाका है. इस परजीवी इलाके में कोई सौ साल पहले पिया लोग रंगून जाया करते थे. फिर कलकत्ता तक सिमट गये. इसके बाद हम जिस वक्त में बड़े हो रहे थे उस दौर में यहां के परजीवी मुंबई जाया करते थे. डेढ़ दशक बाद भी मुंबई जाने की इस रफ्तार में कोई कमी नहीं आई है लेकिन हम अपने जाने को अपनी उस नौजवान आंख से एक बार पीछे मुड़कर फिर देखना चाहते हैं जिसकी चर्चा जाने अनजाने राहुल गांधी ने कर दी है.

वह जो काशी एक्सप्रेस है वह न जाने कितने समय से बुढ़ाने, लात खाने और अपमान सहकर जीने की कला सिखाने के लिए दशकों से नौजवानों को मुंबई पहुंचाने का काम कर रही है. हमें भी उसी काशी में जगह मिली. घर से प्रस्थान करते हुए सिर्फ टिकट का पैसा मिला. इलाके के कर्मकाण्डीय और आडंबरयुक्त स्वभाव के कारण मां ने कुछ पैसे अलग से भी दिये थे. इसलिए नहीं कि उसका मैं अपनी जरूरतों के लिए कुछ इस्तेमाल कर सकूंगा, बल्कि इसलिए कि ऐसा करना शुभ माना जाता था. मां के दिये पैसे के साथ यह संदेश भी होता था कि इस पैसे को खर्च नहीं करना है बल्कि बचाकर रखना है क्योंकि यह पैथान (प्रस्थान) का पैसा है और इसे संभालकर रखने से इसमें और अधिक पैसा जुड़ता है. जाहिर है, मां चाहती थी कि बेटा दिये गये पैसे को हजारगुना करके वापस करे। इसीमें बेटे की भी सफलता है और मां की भी सार्थकता। हमारी रवानगी ऐसे हुई मानों हमें सीमा पर भेजा जा रहा है. घर से निकलते हुए हमें नहीं याद कि हमने अपने मां-बाप के चेहरे को गौर से देखा हो। लेकिन छिपते छिपाते उनके चेहरों पर जो नजर पड़ी तो आंखें ही दिखीं. उम्मीद की आंखे. उम्मीद की वे दो जोड़ा आंखें क्या आस लगाये हुए थीं, उस वक्त तो समझ में नहीं आया लेकिन अब समझ में आता है. इलाके की सामाजिक, आर्थिक और मानसिक दरिद्रता की दर्दनाक त्रयी में ऐसी आंखे किसी एक घर या परिवार में ही मौजूद नहीं हैं. समूचा पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश ऐसी ही दर्दनाक उम्मीदों का आशियाना है.

फिर भी मुंबई जाने और कुछ कर दिखाने की किशोर समझ इतनी प्रबल थी कि ट्रेन के चालू कम्पार्टमेन्ट की गंदगी, भीड़ और एक फिट की सीट पर चौबीस घण्टे गुजारते हुए भी पहुंचने पर यह कहना कि बड़े आराम से आ गये सब कुछ नया और अनोखा लग रहा था. इलाहाबाद के बाद रात कैसे बीती पता नहीं लेकिन आंख जहां से खुली वहां से पहाड़ों के गुजरने का नजारा दिख रहा था. दूर तक खाली मैदान के बाद दूर नजर आते विंध्य पर्वतमाला के पहाड़ बरबस आकर्षित कर रहे थे. जिस किशोर के लिए अभी तक जंघई स्टेशन से भों भों करके गुजरती ट्रेन ही आकर्षण हुआ करती थीं, वह आज खुद उस ट्रेन में सवार होकर सरपट सबको पीछे छोड़ता जा रहा था. बिजली का इंजन हमारे एजे से कई गुना ज्यादा तेज दौड़ रहा था. जितनी तेज ट्रेन दौड़ रही थी उससे भी ज्यादा तेज मन भाग रहा था. वह मन मुंबई के और करीब पहुंचता जा रहा था जहां जाना उसकी एकमात्र नियति थी. मानो उसके पैदा होने का उद्येश्य निश्चित था. उसे कुछ कक्षाओं की पढ़ाई करनी है और जैसे ही हाथ पैर में थोड़ी जान आयेगी उसे मुंबई के लिए रवाना कर दिया जाएगा. मानवीय श्रम शोषण की ऐसी त्रासदी और कहां होती है, उस जगह को अभी तक तो नहीं देख पाया हूं लेकिन इस इलाके में पूरी निष्ठा और लगन के साथ खुद ही इस शोषण को अंजाम दिया जाता है.

हम जिन लोगों के साथ मुंबई गये थे वे हमारे गांव के सफल आदमी थे. वे गांव आते थे तो उनके चेहरे का पीलापन और शरीर के साफ कपड़े दोनों ही मुंबईवासी होने की निशानी होते थे. उनके बच्चों से हम दोस्ती करते थे क्योंकि वे मुंबई से आते थे तो उम्मीद लेकर आते थे. उनके हाथों में कुछ ऐसे सामान हमेशा होते थे जो इस कर्मजले गांव के बच्चों को क्योंकर नसीब होते? यह तो उन बच्चों को नसीब होते हैं जिनके बाप मुंबई रहा करते थे. पंद्रह रूपये वाली घड़ी, बीस रूपये वाला चश्मा, साफ कपड़े, जेब में पांच दस रूपये के नोट और पंसारी की दुकान से बड़ी सहजता से बिस्कुट का पैकेट खरीद लेने का सामर्थ्य हम सबके सामने मानों जीवन का अगला लक्ष्य निर्धारित कर रहा था. इसलिए उनके साथ मुंबई जाने का "सौभाग्य" कोई कम बड़ी बात नहीं थी. पठार, पहाड़ और गुफाओं को पार करते हुए हमारे नथुनों में जैसे ही फैक्ट्रियों का धुंआ घुसने लगा मैं समझ गया हम मुंबई के करीब आ गये हैं. करीब चौबीस घंटे के सफर के बाद एक बार धुंधलाती शाम को बाहर फैक्ट्रियों की ढेर सारी रोशनी ऐसी दीवाली दिखा रही थी जैसी इस जीवन में कल्पना भी नहीं की जा सकती थी. इसलिए अब पहली बार लगा कि हम बड़ी दुनिया में प्रवेश करने जा रहे हैं. अभी तक पूरी यात्रा को चुपचाप देखते रहने के बाद पहली बार लगा कि किसी ऐसी दुनिया के सामने हाजिर होने जा रहे हैं जो मेरी संभावनाओं का सही पता लगा सकती है. देर रात ट्रेन से उतरकर हम जहां पहुंचे उसे वहां की भाषा में आज भी झुग्गी ही कहा जाता है. गांव के चाचा, चाची, उनके तीन चार बच्चे और मैं. कमरा सिर्फ एक. फिर भी, वहां पहुंचते ही मुझे बड़ा झटका लगा हो ऐसा नहीं है. असल में तो मुझे होश ही नहीं था. चौबीस घंटे की खट पट खट पट सुनने के बाद नींद बड़ी तेज आ रही थी और जहां पड़े वहीं सो गये. सोते में भी कानों में ट्रेन की सुरीली खटपट ही चलती रही. सुबह उठे तो बड़े भाई मौजूद थे अपने साथ ले जाने के लिए. मुंबई की उस झुग्गी बस्ती से भाई के अपेक्षाकृत साफ सुथरे कमरे तक का सफर भी कम रोमाचंक नहीं था. उसने रास्ते में मुझे वह सबकुछ दिखाया जिससे मैं उसके ऊपर यह विश्वास कर लेता कि उसका मुंबई के बारे में सामान्य ज्ञान बहुत अच्छा है.

लेकिन मुंबई पहुंचकर इस किशोर के सामने अब चुनौती यह थी कि करना क्या है और रहना कहां है. ग्रामीण रिश्ते इतने मजबूत थे कि मैं भाई के साथ भरपूर अन्याय करते हुए उसके कमरे में रह भी सकता था और उससे पैसे लेकर घूमने भी जा सकता था लेकिन यह सब बहुत दिन तो नहीं चलनेवाला था. इसलिए इस किशोर को काम की तलाश में लग जाना था. इस अठारह उन्नीस साल के नौजवान को दो तीन महीने के लिए कोई काम चाहिए था ताकि वह इतना पैसा कमा सके कि वापस लौटकर इलाहाबाद यूनिवर्सिटी में अपनी पढ़ाई पूरी कर सके. क्योंकि मां ने कितनी भी उम्मीद से बीस रूपये का पैथान दिया हो लेकिन नौजवान तो इलाहाबाद युनिवर्सिटी में पढ़ने के लिए कुछ पैसा कमा लेना चाहता था. हालांकि मुझे बाद में अहसास हुआ कि मुझे खदेड़ा ही इसलिए गया था कि पढ़ाई से ज्यादा अब मैं कमाई पर ध्यान दूं लेकिन अपने मन में तीन महीने कमाने का ही लक्ष्य था. ये तीन महीने फिर तेरह महीने और फिर तीन साल के तीन अनुभव ऐसे रहे कि मुंबई एक स्वप्निल शहर की बजाय हमारे जैसे नौजवानों के लिए एक त्रासदी नजर आई. समूची मुंबई एक ऐसी मिल नजर आई जिसमें जवानी का कच्चा माल झोंककर उसकी ताकत से इस शहर के लिए समृद्धि निचोड़ ली जाती है और फिर उस शरीर के बुढ़ापे को गांव की ओर वापस फेंक दिया जाता है. यह सब होने में तीन चार दशक लगता जरूर है लेकिन यह एक प्रक्रिया सी बन गई है जिसकी शुरूआत पैथान देकर होती है. इस प्रक्रिया से गुजरा बुजुर्ग आनेवाली पीढ़ी को वही लक्ष्य सौंप देता है जिसे निचुड़कर वह नष्ट हो आया है. इसलिए इस प्रक्रिया का अनिवार्य और अघोषित रूप से पालन किया जाता है.

अपनी किशोराबस्था हम जंघई मेरी जान जानते हुई बिता रहे थे लेकिन बंबई पहुंचे तो अब हमें एक नई भाषा सीखने की जरूरत महसूस हो रही थी- बंबई मेरी जान. जंघई से बंबई (अब मुंबई) का यह बदलाव न तो इतना आसान था कि इसे झटपट स्वीकर लिया जाए और न ही इतना सम्मानजक कि इसको अपना परिचय बनाया जा सके. मुंबई में आम तौर पर हमें भैय्या कहा जाता है. हमें याद है बचपन में अपने बड़े भाई को नाम की बजाय भैय्या कहने के लिए हमें किस प्रकार "संस्कारित" किया गया था. इस संस्कार को ग्रहण करने में कई बार मां-बाप की डांट भी शामिल थी और कुछ थप्पड़ भी. लेकिन इस शहर में आकर महसूस हुआ कि सम्मान के शब्दों को भी गाली में तब्दील कि जा सकता है. अगर बोध नकारात्मक हो तो शब्द कितने भी सुंदर हो अपना भाव खो देते हैं. हम पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश से मुंबई आते हैं तो हमारी सिर्फ एक योग्यता है कि हम भैय्या है. कई बार भैय्या साला भी. यह उन मराठी लोगों के मानसिकता पर निर्भर करता है कि वे हमें भैय्या कहकर सम्मानिक करेंगे या भैय्या साला कहकर अपमानित करेंगे. उनके मन में भाव कोई भी हो उनकी जुबान से ये शब्द कभी अच्छे नहीं लगे.

इसलिए सबकुछ करते हुए भी मन अंदर से यह मानने को तैयार नहीं था कि यहां रहना चाहिए. देश के दूसरे हिस्सों में पलायन करके रह रहे लोग भी क्या वैसे ही रहते हैं जैसे मुंबई में ये उत्तर भारतीय रहते हैं? यह सवाल बार बार मेरे मन में उठता था. करीब डेढ़ सौ साल की जड़ जमाने के बाद मुंबई में उत्तर भारतीयों की आर्थिक स्थिति भले ही अब अच्छी हो चली हो लेकिन सामाजिक रूप से वे अभी भी एक बहिष्कृत और अपमानित जमात हैं. वे भले ही अपने आयोजनों और उत्सवों से समाज होने की कोशिश करते हों लेकिन डेढ़ सौ साल बाद भी वे एक समाज नहीं हो पाये हैं. मुंबई के मराठी समाज ने न तो उन्हें कल स्वीकार किया था और न ही आज स्वीकार कर रहा है. फिर मराठी माणुस की मानसिकता और स्थानीय अधिकारों की वकालत करनेवाले राजनीतिक दल आग में घी डालने का काम करते हैं. इन राजनीतिक दलों के मुखिया ये नहीं जानते कि इनके बयान हम जैसे नौजवानों को अंदर से कितना अपमानित करते हैं, और मुंबई किस तरह हमें डराने लगती है. फिर भी मुंबई में जिससे भी बात करते उसका एक ही जवाब होता- यह मुंबई है और यहां तो ऐसा ही होता है. यह जवाब कुछ कुछ वैसा ही है जैसे दिल्ली में बिहार से आया हुआ कोई नौजवान इसे डिल्ली है डिल्ली कहकर अपने यहां होने का सामर्थ्य प्रकट करता है. लेकिन आश्चर्य देखिए कि इस अपमान में भी सम्मान खोज लेने की कला कोई परजीवी और बेशर्म समाज ही कर सकता है. और यह काम मुंबई के उत्तर भारतीय जमात ने बखूबी कर रखा है.

अपनी इसी शुरूआती यात्रा में एक बार मैंने एक मराठी नौजवान धनंजय से एक सवाल पूछा था जो आम मराठियों जैसा मूर्ख बिल्कुल नहीं था. मैंने उससे पूछा कि आखिर यहां के लोग यूपी बिहार के लोगों से इतनी नफरत क्यों करते हैं? उसने कहा था कि तुम लोग यहां आना बंद कर दो, इनकी नफरत खत्म हो जाएगी. मैंने उससे जानना चाहा था कि हमारे पास पैसा नहीं है. हम अपने ही देश के एक हिस्से में अगर दो पैसा कमाने के लिए आते हैं तो क्या गलत करते हैं? धनंजय ने कहा था कि तुम लोग यहां आकर जितना संघर्ष करते हो अगर इतना संघर्ष अपने इलाके में करो, तो तुम्हें यहां आने की जरूरत ही नहीं रहेगी. तुम्हारे पास देश की सबसे उपजाऊ मिट्टी है. तुम्हारे पास देश का सबसे अच्छा दिमाग है, तुम्हारे पास गंगा और यमुना है, फिर तुम लोग मेहनत मजदूरी करने यहां क्यों चले आते हो? उसके इस सवाल का हमारे पास भला इसका क्या उत्तर हो सकता था?

डेढ़ दशक पहले भी हमारे पास धनंजय के सवाल का कोई जवाब नहीं था और आज डेढ़ दशक बाद जब एक नयी पौध अपमान की रोटी कमाने के लिए मुंबई की ओर कूच कर चुकी है हमारे पास इस सवाल का कोई जवाब नहीं है. राहुल गांधी ने इसी पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश में अगर मुंबई में उत्तर भारतीयों के भीख मांगने का सवाल उठाया है तो इसमें ऐसा कुछ गलत नहीं है जिसे स्वीकार न कर लिया जाए. अपमान से कमाया गया धन भीख ही होता है. और मुंबई किसी भी उत्तर भारतीय को सम्मान से धन कमाने का मौका मुहैय्या नहीं कराती है. फिर भी पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश का लगभग हर दूसरा नौजवान मुंबई की गलियों में गालियां खाने के लिए मजबूर है. आखिर क्यों नहीं प्रदेश की कोई सरकार ऐसे इंतजाम करती कि कम से कम इस इलाके के लोगों को अपमान की रोटी के लिए मुंबई जाना बंद हो? मैंने तो धनंजय की बात मान ली अपनी शर्तों पर तीन साल के अंदर मुंबई को अलविदा बोल दिया. वहां की सफलता की मृग मरीचिकाएं मुंझे तीन साल से ज्यादा रोक न सकीं. दिल्ली पहुंच गये. लेकिन आज भी लाखों नौजवान अपमान की रोटी कमाने के लिए मजबूर हैं. उत्तर प्रदेश में आगे जो भी सरकार आये कम से कम उसके एजंडे में एक बात जरूर होनी चाहिए कि वे ऐसी योजना बनाएं ताकि पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश का यह पलायन पूरी तरह न भी रुके तो कम से कम आंशिक रूप से कम जरूर हो जाए. इसी से उत्तर प्रदेश के नौजवानों के लिए सम्मान का रास्ता भी निकलेगा और मुंबईवालों की उत्तर भारतीयों के प्रति नफरत भी कम होगी.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fourth Estate's Failure Gives Birth to Lokpal?

While going through the 662 page report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on Lokpal Bill that includes the dissent note and testimonies, one came came across a revealing statement of Ram Jethmalani about Fourth Estate.

It reads: "please bear in mind that in India, unfortunately, today our Fourth Estate is not powerful as it should be. I want to share with this gathering that I came across a TV channel where I discovered that thousands of crores of money are coming from foreign tax havens. I wrote an article in which I asked it to be explained as to where from did you get this money; who are these tax havens giving you this money you are getting. I received a notice from them saying that I would be sued. I said, “Please. I hope, you will do it to morrow instead of day after tomorrow.” I have not heard of them again. This is the condition of the Fourth Estate in this country. If the Fourth Estate was powerful, there would have been no need for a Lokpal."

He adds, "We need a Lokpal because other institutions have failed us today and we are trying the last one desperately. Therefore, I think, it is good to put the media also under the control of the Lokpal. But, there may be some good reasons for saying no; but, kindly consider media’s failure in its duty and you are not dealing with that kind of a media which ought to be on the ground of its reputation and utility being excluded."

Do we know which TV channel Jethmalani is referring to?

One of the key finding of a study on the 'Drivers and Dynamics of Illicit Financial Flows from India: 1948-2008' conducted by the US-based Global Financial Integrity is that at least $500 billion, or Rs.22.5 lakh crore, has been shifted out of India illegally to foreign bank accounts over the six decades since Independence. It is about half of India's $1.3-trillion GDP. This money is lying in tax havens like Cayman Islands.

Which article is Jethmalani referring to?

Ashok Kumar Parija, Chairman, Bar Council of India (BCI) said, "there could be another law to regulate media and media owners." He added, "You have such an irresponsible media in this country that unless you immediately make a law to regulate the media, then, there will be a complete chaos. I mean in every case a trial is done by the media and then by courts. The solution is make a law to regulate the media. It need not be under the Lokpal, it could be another law."

One submission reads, "We are talking about journalists. We have had these tapes which was a big embarrassment for the Government and others too. Some Journalists tried to fix up the Ministers in the Government. Now would that come in your definition of 'corruption' or not? I mean you are, after all, trying to fix up people somewhere who have on tapes which obviously with a mind to see that in future you may he hauled up with something or the other. Does that also come in your definition of 'corruption'? It is not only giving or taking money but also soliciting positions for various people in Government and other places."

Another testimony reads: "I would like to get some clarifications regarding media. We all know how media has become a big profession and it is even attracting foreign investments. Now can media also be brought under the Lokpal or not?"

There is a chapter in the report that deals with "Jurisdictional Limits of Lokpal: Private NGOs, Corporates and Media"

Excerpts from the report:

"India’s Parliament is not supreme at all. It is a Parliament which is subject to judicial review. Its legislative actions can be set aside by the Judiciary on the ground that they are contrary to the Constitution, that they are contrary to the fundamental rights of the poor citizens of this country. Please make no mistake; in a republic, it is not the majority of MPs who are sovereign, but it is the individual who is sovereign because the individual has a sanctum sanctorum protected by the fundamental rights chapter where all MPs unanimously from both Houses cannot enter into and trespass into. The citizen is supreme."

Is media serving the Sovereign Citizens? Isn't media serving Undemocratic Private NGOs, Undemocratic Corporates and Undemocratic Political Parties? Is this the way to serve democracy?

Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on Lokpal Bill

Draft Bill is to come before the Parliament after the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice was adopted on December 7, 2011 and presented to the Parliament on December 9, 2011. The Draft Bill suggested by the Committee is not the official Bill.

Sharad Yadav has suggested that the session be extended for the passage of the Bill.

If the Bill is not passed the ruling party will face the music in the five assembly elections ahead.

The 662 page report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice The Lokpal Bill, 2011 and Evidence on the Bill

The report refers to Committee Proceedings and Timelines, the Concept of Lokpal: Evolution and Parliamentary History, Citizens' Charter and Grievance Redressal
Mechanism, Prime Minister: Full Exclusion Versus Degrees of Inclusion, Members of Parliament: Vote, Speech and Conduct within the House, Lokpal and State Lokayuktas: Single Enactment and Uniform Standards, Lower Bureaucracy: Degrees of Inclusion, False Complaints and Complainants: Punitive Measures, Judiciary: To Include or Exclude, Lokpal: Search and Selection, the Trinity of the Lokpal, CBI and CVC: In Search of an Equilibrium, Constitutional Status: If, How and How Much Jurisdictional Limits of Lokpal: Private NGOs, Corporates and Media, Supports Structure for the Lokpal: Whistle Blowers, Phone Tappers and Legal Aid/ Assistance Issues, Lokpal Miscellany: Residual Issues and afterword: Recommendations At a Glance.

It includes Minutes of Dissent by members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice
(i) Shri Balavant alias Bal Apte, Shri Kirti Azad, Shri D.B. Chandre Gowda,
Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Shri Harin Pathak and Shri Madhusudan Yadav
(ii) Shri Ram Jethmalani
(iii) Shri Ram Vilas Paswan
(iv) Shri Shailendra Kumar
(v) Shri Prasanta Kumar Majumdar
(vi) Shri Pinaki Misra
(vii) Adv. A. Sampath
(viii) Shri S. Semmalai
(ix) Smt. Deepa Dasmunshi, Ms. Meenakshi Natrajan and Adv. P. T. Thomas
(x) Shri Vijay Bahadur Singh

The Statement of Objects and Reasons, appended to the Lok Bill reads as under:-
"The need to have a strong and effective institution of Lokpal has been felt for quite sometime. The Administrative Reforms Commission , in its interim report on the
'problems of Redressal of Citizens' Grievances submitted in 1966, inter alia
recommended the setting up of an institution of Lokpal at the Centre in this regard.
To give effect to this recommendation of the Administrative Reforms Commission,
eight Bills on Lokpal were introduced in the Lok Sabha in the past, namely in the
years 1968, 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998 and 2001. However, these Bills had
lapsed consequent upon the dissolution of the respective Lok Sabha except in the case of 1985 Bill which was withdrawn after its introduction.

A need has been felt to constitute a mechanism for dealing with complaints on
corruption against public functionaries in high places. In this regard, the Central
Government constituted a Joint Drafting Committee (JDC) on 8th April, 2011 to draft
a Lokpal Bill.

Based on the deliberation and having regard to the need for establishing a strong and effective institution of Lokpal to inqjuire into allegation of corruption against certain public functionaries, it has been decided to enact a stand alone legislation, inter alia to provide for the following matters, namely :-
(i) to establish an Institution of Lokpal with a Chairperson and eight Members of
which fifty per cent shall be Judicial Members;
(ii) to set up Lokpal's own Investigation Wing and Prosecution Wing with such officers and employees a felt by it to be necessary;
(iii) the category of public functionaries against whom allegation of corruption are
to be inquired into, namely :-
a. a Prime Minister, after he has demitted office;
b. a Minister of the Union;
c. a Member of Parliament;
d. any Group "A" officer or equivalent;
e. a Chairperson or member or officer equivalent to Group "A" in any body, Board, corporation, authority, company, society, trust, autonomous body established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly financed or controlled by the Central Government;
f. any director, manager, secretary or other officer of a society or association of persons or trust wholly or partly financed or aided by the Government or in receipt of any donations from the public and whose annual income exceeds such amount as the Central Government may be notification specify but the organizations created for religious purposes and receiving public donations would be outside the purview of the Lokpal.
(iv) To provide for a mechanism to ensure that no sanction or approval under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, will be required in cases here prosecution is proposed by the Lokpal.
(v) to confer on the Lokpal the power of search and seizures and certain powers of a
Civil Court;
(vi) To empower the Lokpal or any investigation officer authorized by it in this behalf to attach property which, prima facie, has been acquired by corrupt means;
(vii) To lay down a period of limitation of seven years from the date of commission of alleged offence for filing the complaints before the Lokpal;
(viii) To confer powers of police upon Lokpal which the police officers have in connection with investigation;
(ix) To charge the expenses of Lokpal on the Consolidated Fund of India;
(x) to utilize services of officers of Central or State Government with the consent of the State Government for the purpose of conducting inquiry;
(xi) To recommend transfer or suspension of public servants connected with allegation of corruption;
(xii) To constitute sufficient number of Special Courts as may be recommended by the
Lokpal to hear and decide the cases arising out of the Prevention of Corruption Act,
1988 under the proposed enactment;
(xiii) To make every public servant to declare his assets and liabilities, and in case of default or furnishing misleading information, to presume that the public servant has acquired such assets by corrupt means;
(xiv) To provide for prosecution of persons who make false or frivolous or vexatious

The notes on clauses explain in detail the various provisions contained in the Bill.
The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.”

There were six major areas of divergent views in the Joint Drafting Committee on Lokpal Bill:-
i. Should one single Act be provided for both the Lokpal in the Centre and Lokayukt
in the State? Would the State Governments be willing to accept a draft provision
for the Lokayukt on the same lines as that of the Lokpal?
ii. Should the Prime Minister be brought within the purview of the Lokpal? If the
answer is in affirmative, should there be a qualified inclusion?
iii. Should Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts be brought within the
purview of the Lokpal?
iv. Should the conduct of Members of Parliament inside Parliament, their right to
speak and right to vote in the House, be brought within the purview of the
Lokpal? Presently such actions of the Members of Parliament are covered by
article 105(2) of the Constitution?
v. Whether Articles 311 and 320 (3) (c) of the Constitution notwithstanding
members of a civil service of the Union or an All India Service or a Civil Service
of a State or a person holding a civil post under the Union or State, be subject to
enquiry and disciplinary action including dismissal and removal by the Lokpal
and Lokayukta, as the case may be?
vi. What should be the definition of the Lokpal, and should it itself exercise quasi-judicial powers also or delegate these powers to its subordinate officers?"

Following three issues were discussed in both the Houses:-
i. Whether the jurisdiction of the Lokpal should cover all employees of the Central
ii. Whether it will be applicable through the institution of the Lokayukt in all States?
iii. Whether the Lokpal should have the power to punish all those who violate the
'grievance redressal mechanism' to be put in place?

Earlier, in the last session of Parliament the Union Minister of Finance concluded in both the Houses in these words:-
“ This House agrees in principle on the Citizens Charter, Lower Bureaucracy to be
brought under Lokpal through appropriate mechanism and Establishment of Lok
Ayuktas in the States. I will request you to transmit the proceedings to the
Department-related Standing Committee for its perusal while formulating its
recommendations for a Lokpal Bill.”

Lok Sabha Debates dated 23rd April, 1965, referred to Lokpal as "overdue" in 1965 is being enacted in 2011. Will it be enacted before the year ends?

Excerpts from the report:

"India’s Parliament is not supreme at all. It is a Parliament which is subject to judicial review. Its legislative actions can be set aside by the Judiciary on the ground that they are contrary to the Constitution, that they are contrary to the fundamental rights of the poor citizens of this country. Please make no mistake; in a republic, it is not the majority of MPs who are sovereign, but it is the
individual who is sovereign because the individual has a sanctum sanctorum protected by the fundamental rights chapter where all MPs unanimously from both Houses cannot enter into and trespass into. The citizen is supreme."


Committee Proceedings and Timelines

1. In a nut shell, therefore, this Committee could become legally operational only
w.e.f. September 23, 2011 and has completed hearing witnesses on 4th November,
2011. It had its total deliberations including Report adoption spread over 14
meetings, together aggregating 40 hours within the space of ten weeks
commencing from September 23, 2011 and ending December 7, 2011. [Para 2.6.]

2. Though not specific to this Committee, it is an established practice that all 24
Parliamentary Standing Committees automatically lapse on completion of their
one year tenure and are freshly constituted thereafter. This results in a legal
vacuum, each year, of approximately two to three weeks and occasionally, as in
the present case, directly affects the urgent and ongoing business of the
Committee. The Committee would respectfully request Parliament to reconsider
the system of automatic lapsing. Instead, continuity in Committees but
replacement of Members on party-wise basis would save time. [Para 2.7.]

The Concept of Lokpal: Evolution and Parliamentary History

3. A proposal in this regard was first initiated in the Lok Sabha on April 3, 1963 by the Late Dr. LM Singhvi, MP2. While replying to it, the then Law Minister observed that though the institution seemed full of possibilities, since it involved a matter of policy, it was for the Prime Minister to decide in that regard3. Dr. LM Singhvi then personally communicated this idea to the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru who in turn, with some initial hesitation, acknowledged that it was a valuable idea which could be incorporated in our institutional framework. On 3rd November, 1963, Hon’ble Prime Minister made a statement

2 Lok Sabha Debates dated 3rd April, 1963, vol. XVI, P.7556-7558
3 ibid., P.7590-92

in respect of the possibilities of this institution and said that the system of
Ombudsman fascinated him as the Ombudsman had an overall authority to deal
with the charges of corruption, even against the Prime Minister, and
commanded the respect and confidence of all4. [Para 3.3]

4. Thereafter, to give effect to the recommendations of the First Administrative
Reforms Commission, eight Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha from time to
time. However, all these Bills lapsed consequent upon the dissolution of the
respective Lok Sabhas, except in the case of the 1985 Bill which was
subsequently withdrawn after its introduction. A close analysis of the Bills
reflects that there have been varying approaches and shifting foci in scope and
jurisdiction in all these proposed legislations. The first two Bills viz. of 1968 and of 1971 sought to cover the entire universe of bureaucrats, Ministers, public
sector undertakings, Government controlled societies for acts and omissions
relating to corruption, abuse of position, improper motives and maladministration.

The 1971 Bill, however, sought to exclude the Prime Minister from its coverage. The 1977 Bill broadly retained the same coverage except that corruption was subsequently sought to be defined in terms of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act. Additionally, the 1977 Bill did not cover maladministration as a separate category, as also the definition of “public man” against whom complaints could be filed did not include bureaucrats in general.

Thus, while the first two Bills sought to cover grievance redressal in respect of
maladministration in addition to corruption, the 1977 version did not seek to
cover the former and restricted itself to abuse of office and corruption by
Ministers and Members of Parliament. The 1977 Bill covered the Council of
Ministers without specific exclusion of the Prime Minister.

The 1985 Bill was purely focused on corruption as defined in IPC and POCA and
neither sought to subsume mal-administration or mis-conduct generally nor
4 His initial hesitation to this idea was probably due to the Scandinavian origin of the nomenclature of the institution. In a lighter vein, he happened to ask Dr. L.M. Singhvi “To what zoo does this animal belong” and asked Shri Singhvi to indigenize the nomenclature of the institution. Dr. L.M. Singhvi then coined the term Lokpal / Lokayukta to modify the institution of Ombudsman to the Indian context (as related by Dr. L.M. Singhvi to the Chairman of this Committee). Also referred to by Mr. Arun Jaitley M.P. during the Parliament Debate on 27th August 2011. He started the debate in the Upper House thus:-“Now, ‘Ombudsman’ was a Scandinavian concept and, coincidentally, on 3rd April, 1963, then an Independent young Member of the Lok Sabha, Dr. L.M. Singhvi, in the course of his participation in a debate for having an Ombudsman in India, attempted to find out what the Indian equivalent could be, and this word ‘Lokpal’ was added to our vocabulary, the Hindi vocabulary, by Dr. L.M. Singhvi who translated this word.” bureaucrats within its ambit. Moreover, the 1985 Bill impliedly included the Prime Minister since it referred to the office of a Minister in its definition of “public functionary”.

The 1989 Bill restricted itself only to corruption, but corruption only as specified in the POCA and did not mention IPC. It specifically sought to include the Prime Minister, both former and incumbent.
Lastly, the last three versions of the Bill in 1996, 1998 and 2001, all
(a) focused only on corruption;
(b) defined corruption only in terms of POCA;
(c) defined “public functionaries” to include Prime Minister,
Ministers and MPs;
(d) did not include bureaucrats within their ambit. [Para 3.5]

5. Though the institution of Lokpal is yet to become a reality at the Central level,
similar institutions of Lokayuktas have in fact been setup and are functioning for
many years in several States. In some of the States, the institution of Lokayuktas
was set up as early as in 1970s, the first being Maharashtra in 1972. Thereafter,
State enactments were enacted in the years 1981 (M.P.), 1983 (Andhra Pradesh
and Himachal Pradesh), 1984 (Karnataka), 1985 (Assam), 1986 (Gujarat), 1995
(Delhi), 1999 (Kerala), 2001 (Jharkhand), 2002 (Chhatisgarh) and 2003
(Haryana). At present, Lokayuktas are in place in 17 States and one Union
Territory. However, due to the difference in structure, scope and jurisdiction,
the effectiveness of the State Lokayuktas vary from State to State. It is
noteworthy that some States like Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan and
Andhra Pradesh have made provisions in their respective State Lokayuktas Act
for suo motu investigation by the Lokpal. In the State Lokayukta Acts of some
States, the Lokayukta has been given the power for prosecution and also power
to ensure compliance of its recommendations. However, there is a significant
difference in the nature of provisions of State Acts and in powers from State to
State. Approximately nine States in India have no Lokayukta at present. Of the
States which have an enactment, four States have no actual appointee in place
for periods varying from two months to eight years. [Para 3.8]

Citizens' Charter and Grievance Redressal Mechanism

6. The Committee believes that while providing for a comprehensive Grievance
Redressal Mechanism is absolutely critical, it is equally imperative that this
mechanism be placed in a separate framework which ensures speed, efficiency
and focus in dealing with citizens' grievances as per a specified Citizens' Charter.
The humongous number of administrative complaints and grievance redressal
requests would critically and possibly fatally jeopardize the very existence of a
Lokpal supposed to battle corruption. At the least, it would severally impair its
functioning and efficiency. Qualitatively, corruption and mal-administration fall
into reasonably distinct watertight and largely non-overlapping, mutually
exclusive compartments. The approach to tackling such two essentially distinct
issues must necessarily vary in content, manpower, logistics and structure. The
fact that this Committee recommends that there must be a separate efficacious
mechanism to deal with Grievance Redressal and Citizens' Charter in a
comprehensive legislation other than the Lokpal Bill does not devalue or
undermine the vital importance of that subject. [Para 4.15]

7. Consequently the Committee strongly recommends the creation of a separate
comprehensive enactment on this subject and such a Bill, if moved through the
Personnel/Law Ministry and if referred to this Standing Committee, would
receive the urgent attention of this Committee. Indeed, this Committee, in its
29th Report on “Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism”, presented to
Parliament in October, 2008 had specifically recommended the enactment of
such a mechanism. [Para 4.16]

8. To emphasize the importance of the subject of Citizens' Charter and to impart it
the necessary weight and momentum, the Committee is of the considered opinion
that any proposed legislation on the subject:
(i) should be urgently undertaken and be comprehensive and all inclusive;
(ii) such enactment should, subject to Constitutional validity, also be
applicable for all States as well in one uniform legislation;
(iii) must provide for adequate facilities for proper guidance of the citizens on
the procedural and other requirements while making requests.
(iv) must provide for acknowledgement of citizen’s communications within a
fixed time frame;
(v) must provide for response within stipulated time frame;
(vi) must provide for prevention of spurious or lame queries from the
department concerned to illegally/unjustifiably prolong/extend the time
limit for response;
(vii) must provide for clearly identifiable name tags for each employee of
different Government departments;
(viii) must provide for all pending grievances to be categorized subject-wise
and notified on a continually updated website for each department;
(ix) must provide for a facilitative set of procedures and formats, both for
complaints and for appeals on this subject - along the lines of the
Information Commissioners system set up under the RTI;
(x) must, in the event that the proposed Central law does not cover states,
make strong recommendations to have similar enactments for grievance
redressal/citizen charter at each State level;
(xi) may provide for exclusionary or limited clauses in the legislation to the
effect that Citizen Charter should not include services involving
constraints of supply e.g. power, water, etc. but should include subjects
where there is no constraint involved e.g. birth certificates, decisions,
assessment orders. These two are qualitatively different categories and
reflect an important and reasonable distinction deserving recognition
without which Government departments will be burdened with the legal
obligation to perform and provide services or products in areas beyond
their control and suffering from scarcity of supply. [Para 4.17]
9. The Committee strongly feels that the harmonious synchronization of the RTI
Act and of the Citizens' Charter and Public Grievances Redressal Mechanism
will ensure greater transparency and accountability in governance and enhance
the responsiveness of the system to the citizens' needs/expectations/grievances.
[Para 4.18]

10. Lastly, the Committee wishes to clarify that the conclusion of the Hon’ble Union
Minister for Finance on the Floor of the House quoted in Para 1.8 above of the
Report does not intend to direct or mandate or bind or oblige this Committee to
provide for a Citizen’s Charter within the present Lokpal Bill alone. The
Committee reads the quoted portion in para 1.8 above to mean and agree in
principle to provide for a Citizen’s Charter/Grievance Redressal system but not
necessarily and inexorably in the same Lokpal Bill. Secondly, the reference to
‘appropriate mechanism’ in para 1.8 above further makes it clear that there
must be a mechanism dealing with the subject but does not require it to be in the
same Lokpal Bill alone. Thirdly, the reference in para 1.8 above to the phrase
‘under Lokpal’ is not read by the Committee to mean that such a mechanism
must exist only within the present Lokpal Bill. The Committee reads this to
mean that there should be an appropriate institution to deal with the subject of
Citizen’s Charter/Grievance redressal which would be akin to the Lokpal and
have its features of independence and efficacy, but not that it need not be the
very same institution i.e. present Lokpal. Lastly, the Committee also takes note
of the detailed debate and divergent views of those who spoke on the Floor of
both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on this issue and concludes that no binding
consensus or resolution to the effect that the Grievances Redressal/Citizen’s
Charter mechanism must be provided in the same institution in the present
Lokpal Bill, has emerged [Para 4.19]

11. Contextually, the issues and some of the suggestions in this Chapter may overlap
with and should, therefore, be read in conjunction with Chapter 13 of this
report. Though the Committee has already opined that the issue of grievance
redressal should be dealt with in a separate legislation, the Committee hereby
also strongly recommends that there should be a similar declaration either in the
same Chapter of the Lokpal or in a separate Chapter proposed to be added in
the Indian Constitution, giving the same constitutional status to the citizens
grievances and redressal machinery.[Para 4.20]

12. This recommendation to provide the proposed Citizen Charter and Grievances
Redressal Machinery the same Constitutional status as the Lokpal also reflects
the genuine and deep concern of this Committee about the need, urgency, status
and importance of a citizen's charter/grievance machinery. The Committee
believes that the giving of the aforesaid constitutional status to this machinery
would go a long way in enhancing its efficacy and in providing a healing touch to
the common man. Conclusions and recommendations in this regard made in
para 13.12 (j) and (k) should be read in conjunction herein.[Para 4.21]

13. Furthermore, the Committee believes that this recommendation herein is also
fully consistent with the letter and spirit of para 1.8 above viz. the conclusions of the Minister of Finance in the Lower House recorded in para 1.8 above.
[Para 4.22]

The Prime Minister : Full Exlusion Versus Degrees of Inclusion

14. The issue of the Prime Minister's inclusion or exclusion or partial inclusion or
partial exclusion has been the subject of much debate in the Committee. Indeed,
this has occupied the Committee’s deliberations for at least three different
meetings. Broadly, the models / options which emerged are as follows:
(a) The Prime Minister should be altogether excluded, without exception and
without qualification.
(b) The Prime Minister should altogether be included, without exception and
without qualification ( though this view appears to be that of only one or
two Members).
(c) The Prime Minister should be fully included, with no exclusionary
caveats but he should be liable to action / prosecution only after demitting
(d) The Prime Minister should be included, with subject matter exclusions
like national security, foreign affairs, atomic energy and space. Some
variants and additions suggested included the addition of “national
interest” and “public order” to this list of subject matter exclusions.
(e) One learned Member also suggested that the Prime Minister be included
but subject to the safeguard that the green signal for his prosecution must
be first obtained from either both Houses of Parliament in a joint sitting
or some variation thereof. [Para 5.22]

15. It may be added that so far as the deferred prosecution model is concerned, the
view was that if that model is adopted, there should be additional provisions
limiting such deferment to one term of the Prime Minister only and not giving
the Prime Minister the same benefit of deferred prosecution in case the Prime
Minister is re-elected. [Para 5.23]

16. In a nut shell, as far as the overwhelming number of Members of the Committee
are concerned, it was only three models above viz. as specified in paras (a), (c)
and (d) in para 5.17 above which were seriously proposed. [Para 5.24]

17. Since the Committee finds that each of the views as specified in paras (a), (c) and (d) in para 5.17 above had reasonably broad and diverse support without going
into the figures for or against or into the names of individual Members, the
Committee believes that, in fairness, all these three options be transmitted by the
Committee as options suggested by the Committee, leaving it to the good sense of
Parliament to decide as to which option is to be adopted. [Para 5.25]

18. It would be, therefore, pointless in debating the diverse arguments in respect of each option or against each option. In fairness, each of the above options has a
reasonable zone of merit as also some areas of demerit. The Committee believes
that the wisdom of Parliament in this respect should be deferred to and the
Committee, therefore, so opines. [Para 5.26]

Members of Parliament: Vote, Speech and Conduct within the House

19. The Committee strongly feels that constitutional safeguards given to MPs under
Article 105 are sacrosanct and time-tested and in view of the near unanimity in
the Committee and among political parties on their retention, there is no scope
for interfering with these provisions of the Constitution. Vote, conduct or speech
within the House is intended to promote independent thought and action,
without fetters, within Parliament. Its origin, lineage and continuance is ancient
and time-tested. Even an investigation as to whether vote, speech or conduct in a
particular case involves or does not involve corrupt practices, would whittle such
unfettered autonomy and independence within the Houses of Parliament down to
vanishing point. Such immunity for vote, speech or conduct within the Houses of
Parliament does not in any manner leave culpable MPs blameless or free from
sanction. They are liable to and, have, in the recent past, suffered severe
parliamentary punishment including expulsion from the Houses of Parliament,
for alleged taking of bribes amounting to as little as Rs. 10,000/- for asking
questions on the floor of the House. It is only external policing of speech, vote or
conduct within the House that Article 105 frowns upon. It leaves such speech,
vote and conduct not only subject to severe intra-parliamentary scrutiny and
action, but also does not seek to affect corrupt practices or any other vote, speech
or conduct outside Parliament. There is absolute clarity and continued
unanimity on the necessity for this limited immunity to be retained. Hence,
speculation on constitutional amendment in this regard is futile and engenders
interminable delay.[Para 6.19]

20. Consequently, the existing structure, mechanism, text and context of clauses
17 (1) (c) and 17 (2) in the Lokpal Bill 2011 should be retained.[Para 6.20]
Lokpal and State Lokayuktas: Single Enactment and Uniform Standards

21. The Committee finds merit in the suggestion for a single comprehensive federal
enactment dealing with Lokpal and State Lokayuktas. The availability of
uniform standards across the country is desirable; the prosecution of public
servants based upon widely divergent standards in neighboring states is an
obvious anomaly. The Committee has given its earnest attention to the
constitutional validity of a single enactment subsuming both the Lokpal and
Lokayukta and concludes that such an enactment would be not only desirable
but constitutionally valid, inter alia because,
(a) The legislation seeks to implement the UN Convention on Corruption
ratified by India.
(b) Such implementing legislation is recognized by Article 253 and is treated
as one in List III of the 7th Schedule.
(c) It gets additional legislative competence, inter-alia, individually or jointly
under Entries 1, 2 and 11A of List-III.
(d) A direct example of provision for National Human Rights Commission
and also for State Human Rights Commissions in the same Act is
provided in the Protection of the Human Rights Act 1986 seeking to
implement the UN Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.
(e) Such Parliamentary legislation under Article 253, if enacted, can provide
for repealing of State Lokayukta Acts; subject, however, to the power of
any State to make State specific amendments to the federal enactments
after securing Presidential assent for such State specific amendments.[Para 7.26]

22. Additionally, it is recommended that the content of the provisions dealing with
State Lokayuktas in the proposed central/ federal enactment must be covered
under a separate chapter in the Lokpal Bill. That may be included in one or
more chapters possibly after Chapter II and before Chapter III as found in the
Lokpal Bill 2011. The entire Lokpal Bill 2011 would have to incorporate
necessary changes and additions, mutatis mutandis, in respect of the State
Lokayukta institutions. To give one out of many examples, the Selection
Committee would be comprised of the State Chief Minister, the Speaker of the
Lower House of the State, the Leader of Opposition in the Lower House, the
Chief Justice of the High Court and a joint nominee of the State Election
Commissioner, the State Auditor General and State PSC Chairman or, where
one or more of such institutions is absent in the State, a joint nominee of
comparable institutions having statutory status within the State.[Para 7.27]

23. All these State enactments shall include the Chief Minister within their purview. The Committee believes that the position of the State Chief Minister is not
identical to that of the Prime Minister. The arguments for preventing instability
and those relating to national security or the image of the country do not apply
in case of a Chief Minister. Finally, while Article 356 is available to prevent a
vacuum for the post of Chief Minister, there is no counterpart constitutional
provision in respect of the federal Government.[Para 7.28]

24. Article 51 (c) of the Directive Principles of State Policy enjoining the federation to “foster respect for international law and treaty obligations……………..” must also be kept in mind while dealing with implementing legislations pursuant to
international treaties, thus providing an additional validating basis for a single
enactment.[Para 7.29]

25. The Committee recommends that the Lokpal Bill 2011 may be expanded to
include several substantive provisions which would be applicable for Lokayuktas
in each State to deal with issues of corruption of functionaries under the State
Government and employees of those organizations controlled by the State
Government, but that, unlike the Lokpal, the state Lokayuktas would cover all
classes of employees.[Para 7.30]

26. The Committee recommends that if the above recommendation is implemented
the Lokpal Bill 2011 may be renamed as “Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011”[Para 7.31]

27. The Committee believes that the recommendations, made herein, are fully
consistent with and implement, in letter and spirit, the conclusions of the
Minister of Finance on the floor of the Houses in respect of establishment of
Lokayuktas in the States, as quoted in para 1.8 above. The Committee is
conscious of the fact that the few States which have responded to the
Secretariat’s letter sent to each and every State seeking to elicit their views, have opposed a uniform Central federal Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill and,
understandably and expectedly, have sought to retain their powers to enact State
level Lokayukta Acts. The Committee repeats and reiterates the reasons given
hereinabove, in support of the desirability of one uniform enactment for both
Lokpal and Lokayuktas. The Committee also reminds itself that if such a
uniform Central enactment is passed, it would not preclude States from making
any number of State specific amendments, subject to prior Presidential assent, as
provided in the Indian Constitution. The Committee, therefore, believes that it
has rightly addressed the two issues which arise in this respect viz. the need and
desirability for a uniform single enactment and, secondly, if the latter is
answered in the affirmative, that such a uniform enactment is Constitutionally
valid and permissible.[Para 7.32]

28. Since this report, and especially this chapter, recommends the creation of a
uniform enactment for both Central and State Lokayuktas, it is reiterated that a
whole separate chapter (or, indeed, more than one chapter) would have to be
inserted in the Lokpal Bill of 2011 providing for State specific issues. Secondly,
this would have to be coupled with mutatis mutandis changes in other parts of
the Act to accommodate the fact that the same Act is addressing the requirement
of both the federal institution and also the State level institution.[Para 7.33]

29. Furthermore, each and every chapter and set of recommendations in this report
should also be made applicable, mutatis mutandis, by appropriate provisions in
the Chapter dealing with State Lokayuktas. [Para 7.34]

30. Although it is not possible for this Committee to specifically list the
particularised version of each and every amendment or adaptation required to
the Lokpal Bill, 2011 to subsume State Lokayuktas within the same enactment, it
gives below a representative non-exhaustive list of such
amendments/adaptations, which the Government should suitably implement in
the context of one uniform enactment for both Lokpal and Lokayuktas. These
include :
(a) Clause 1 (2) should be retained even for the State Lokayukta provisions
since State level officers could well be serving in parts of India other than
the State concerned as also beyond the shores of India.
(b) The Chief Minister must be included within the State Lokayukta on the
same basis as any other Minister of the Council of Ministers at the State
level. Clause 2 of the 2011 Bill must be amended to include Government
servants at the State level. The competent authority in each case would
also accordingly change e.g. for a Minister of the Council of Minister, it
would be the Chief Minister; for MLAs, it would be the presiding officer
of the respective House and so on and so forth. The competent authority
for the Chief Minister would be the Governor.
(c) As regards Clause 3, the only change would be in respect of the
Chairperson, which should be as per the recommendation made for the
(d) As regards the Selection Committee, the issue at the Lokayukta level has
already been addressed above.
(e) References in the Lokpal context to the President of India shall naturally
have to be substituted at the Lokayukta level by references to the
Governor of the State.
(f) The demarcation of the criminal justice process into five broad areas
from the initiation of complaint till its adjudication, as provided in
Chapter 12, should also apply at the State Lokayukta level. The
investigative agency, like the CBI, shall be the anti-corruption unit of the
State but crucially, it shall be statutorily made independent by similar
declarations of independence as already elaborated in the discussion in
Chapter 12. All other recommendations in Chapter 12 can and should be
applied mutatis mutandis for the Lokayukta.
(g) Similarly, all the recommendations in Chapter 12 in respect of
departmental inquiry shall apply to the Lokayukta with changes made,
mutatis mutandis, in respect of State bodies. The State Vigilance
Commission/machinery would, in such cases, discharge the functions of
the CVC. However, wherever wanting, similar provisions as found in the
CVC Act buttressing the independence of the CVC shall be provided.
(h) The recommendations made in respect of elimination of sanction as also
the other recommendations, especially in Chapter 12, relating to Lokpal,
can and should be applied mutatis mutandis in respect of Lokayukta.
(i) Although no concrete fact situation exists in respect of a genuine multi-
State or inter-State corruption issue, the Committee opines that in the
rare and unusual case where the same person is sought to be prosecuted
by two or more State machineries of two or more Lokayuktas, there
should be a provision entitling the matter to be referred by either of the
States or by the accused to the Lokpal at the federal level, to ensure
uniformity and to eliminate turf wars between States or jurisdictional
skirmishes by the accused.
(j) As already stated above, the coverage of the State Lokayukta, unlike the
Lokpal, would extend to all classes of employees, including employees of
state owned or controlled entities. [Para 7.35]

Lower Bureaucracy: Degrees of Inclusion

31. The Committee, therefore, recommends
(a) That for the Lokpal at the federal level, the coverage should be expanded
to include Group A and Group B officers but not to include Group C and
Group D.
(b) The provisions for the State Lokayuktas should contain similar
counterpart reference, for purposes of coverage, of all similar categories
at the State level which are the same or equivalent to Group A and Group
B for the federal Lokpal. Though the Committee was tempted to provide
only for enabling power for the States to include the State Lokayuktas to
include the lower levels of bureaucracy like groups ‘C’ and ‘D’ at the
State level, the Committee, on careful consideration, recommends that all
the groups, including the lower bureaucracy at the State level and the
groups equivalent with ‘C’ and ‘D’ at the State level should also be
included within the jurisdiction of State Lokayuktas with no exclusion.
Employees of state owned or controlled entities should also be covered.
(c) The Committee is informed by the DoPT that after the Sixth Pay
Commission Report, Group-D has been/will be transposed and submerged
fully in Group-C. In other words, after the implementation of the
Sixth Pay Commission Report, which is already under implementation,
Group-D will disappear and there will be only Group-C as far as the
Central Government employees are concerned.
(i) Consequently, Group-C, which will shortly include the whole of
Group-D will comprise a total number of approximately 30 lakhs (3
million) employees. Though the figures are not fully updated, A+B
classes recommended for inclusion by this Committee would
comprise just under 3 lakhs employees. With some degree of
approximation, the number of Railway employees from group A to
D inclusive can be pegged at about 13½ lakhs (as on March 2010). If
Central Government PSUs are added, personnel across all
categories (Group A, B, C and D as existing) would be
approximately an additional 15 lakhs employees. Post and
Telegraph across all categories would further number
approximately 4½ lakhs employees. Hence the total, on the aforesaid
basis (which is undoubtedly an approximation and a 2010 figure) for
Group A to D (soon, as explained above, to be only Group-C) +
Railways + Central PSUs + Post and Telegraph would be
approximately 63 lakhs, or at 2011 estimates, let us assume 65 lakhs
i.e. 6.5 million.
(ii) On a conservative estimate of one policing officer per 200 employees
(a ratio propounded by several witnesses including Team Anna),
approximately 35000 employees would be required in the Lokpal to
police the aforesaid group of Central Government employees
(including, as explained above, Railways, Central PSUs, P&T etc.).
This policing is certainly not possible by the proposed nine member
Lokpal. The Lokpal would have to spawn a bureaucracy of at least
35000 personnel who would, in turn, be recruited for a parallel
Lokpal bureaucracy. Such a mammoth bureaucracy, till it is
created, would render the Lokpal unworkable. Even after it is
created, it may lead to a huge parallel bureaucracy which would set
in train its own set of consequences, including arbitrariness,
harassment and unfair and illegal action by the same bureaucracy
which, in the ultimate analysis would be nothing but a set of similar
employees cutting across the same A, B and C categories. As some of
the Members of the Committee, in a lighter vein put it, one would
then have to initiate a debate on creating a super Lokpal or a
Dharampal for the policing of the new bureaucracy of the Lokpal
institution itself.
(iia) The Committee also notes that as far as the Lokpal institution is
concerned, it is proposed as a new body and there is no such
preexisting Lokpal bureaucracy available. In this respect, there is a
fundamental difference between the Lokpal and Lokayuktas, the
latter having functioned, in one form or the other in India for the
last several decades, with a readily available structure and
manpower in most parts of India.
(iii) If, from the above approximate figure of 65 lakhs, we exclude C and
D categories (as explained earlier, D will soon become part of C)
from Central Government, Railways, PSUs, Post and Telegraph etc.,
the number of A and B categories employees in these departments
would aggregate approximately 7.75 lakhs. In other words, the
aggregate of C and D employees in these classes aggregate
approximately 57 or 58 lakhs. The Committee believes that this
figure of 7.75 or 8 lakhs would be a more manageable, workable and
desirable figure for the Lokpal institution, at least to start with.
(iv) The impression that inclusion of Group ‘A’ and B alone involves
exclusion of large sections of the bureaucracy, must be dispelled.
Though in terms of number, the aggregation of Groups ‘C’ and ‘D’
is an overwhelming percentage of total Central Government
employees, Groups ‘A’ and B include the entire class above the
supervisory level. Effectively, this means that virtually all Central
Government employees at the Section Officer level and above would
be included. It is vital to emphasize that this demarcation has to be
viewed in functional terms, since it gives such categories significant
decision making power in contra-distinction to mere numbers and
necessarily subsumes a major chunk of medium and big ticket
(v) Another misconception needs to be clarified. There is
understandable and justifiable anger that inclusion of Group C and
D would mean exclusion of a particular class which has tormented
the common man in different ways over the years viz. Tehsildar,
Patwari and similarly named or equivalent officers. Upon checking,
the Secretariat has clarified that these posts are State Government
posts under gazette notification notified by the State Government
and hence the earlier recommendation of this Committee will enable
their full inclusion.
(vi) We further recommend that for the hybrid category of Union
Territories, the same power be given as is recommended above in
respect of State Lokayuktas. The Committee also believes that this is
the appropriate approach since a top heavy approach should be
avoided and the inclusionary ambit should be larger and higher at
the state level rather than burdening the Lokpal with all classes of
(vii) As of now, prior to the coming into force of the Lokpal Act or any of
the recommendations of this report, Group C and D officers are not
dealt with by the CVC. Group C & D employees have to be
proceeded against departmentally by the appropriate Department
Head, who may either conduct a departmental enquiry or file a
criminal corruption complaint against the relevant employee
through the CBI and/or the normal Police forces. The Committee
now recommends that the entire Group C & D, (later only Group C
as explained above) shall be brought specifically under the
jurisdiction of the CVC. In other words, the CVC, which is a high
statutory body of repute and whose selection process includes the
Leader of the Opposition, should be made to exercise powers
identical to or at least largely analogous, in respect of these class C
and class D employees as the Lokpal does for Group A and B
employees. The ultimate Lokpal Bill/Act should thus become a
model for the CVC, in so far as Group C & D employees are
concerned. If that requires large scale changes in the CVC Act, the
same should be carried out. This would considerably strengthen the
existing regime of policing, both departmentally and in terms of
anti-corruption criminal prosecutions, all Group C & D employees
and would not in any manner leave them either unpoliced or subject
to a lax or ineffective regime of policing.
(viii) Furthermore, this Committee recommends that there would be
broad supervisory fusion at the apex level by some appropriate
changes in the CVC Act. The CVC should be made to file periodical
reports, say every three months, to the Lokpal in respect of action
taken for these class C and D categories. On these reports, the
Lokpal shall be entitled to make comments and suggestions for
improvement and strengthening the functioning of CVC, which in
turn, shall file, appropriate action taken reports with the Lokpal.
(ix) Appropriate increase in the strength of the CVC manpower, in the
light of the foregoing recommendations, would also have to be
considered by the Government.
(x) The Committee also feels that this is the start of the Lokpal
institution and it should not be dogmatic and inflexible on any of the
issues. For a swift and efficient start, the Lokpal should be kept slim,
trim, effective and swift. However, after sometime, once the Lokpal
institution has stabilized and taken root, the issue of possible
inclusion of Group C classes also within the Lokpal may be
considered. This phase-wise flexible and calibrated approach would,
in the opinion of this Committee, be more desirable instead of any
blanket inclusion of all classes at this stage.
(xi) Another consideration which the Committee has kept in mind is the
fact that if all the classes of higher, middle and lower bureaucracy
are included within the Lokpal at the first instance itself, in addition
to all the aforesaid reasons, the CVC’s role and functioning would
virtually cease altogether, since the CVC would have no role in
respect of any class of employee and would be reduced, at best, to a
vigilance clearance authority. This would be undesirable in the very
first phase of reforms, especially since the CVC is a high statutory
authority in this country which has, over the last half century,
acquired a certain institutional identity and stability along with
conventions and practices which ought not to be uprooted in this
(d) All provisions for prior sanction / prior permission, whether under the
CrPC or Prevention of Corruption Act or DSPE Act or related legislation
must be repealed in respect of all categories of bureaucrats / government
servants, whether covered by the Lokpal or not, and there should
consequently be no requirement of sanction of any kind in respect of any
class or category of officers at any level in any Lokpal and Lokayukta or ,
indeed, CVC proceedings ( for non Lokpal covered categories). In other
words, the requirement of sanction must go not only for Lokpal covered
personnel but also for non-Lokpal covered personnel i.e. class ‘C’ and ‘D’
(Class D, as explained elsewhere, will eventually be submerged into Class
‘C’). The sanction requirement, originating as a salutary safeguard
against witch hunting has, over the years, as applied by the bureaucracy
itself, degenerated into a refuge for the guilty, engendering either endless
delay or obstructing all meaningful action. Moreover, the strong filtering
mechanism at the stage of preliminary inquiry proposed in respect of the
Lokpal, is a more than adequate safeguard, substituting effectively for the
sanction requirement.
(e) No doubt corruption at all levels is reprehensible and no doubt
corruption at the lowest levels does affect the common man and inflicts
pain and injury upon him but the Committee, on deep consideration and
reconsideration of this issue, concluded that this new initiative is intended
to send a clear and unequivocal message, first and foremost, in respect of
medium and big ticket corruption. Secondly, this Committee is not
oblivious to the fact that jurisdiction to cover the smallest Government
functionary at the peon and driver level ( class C largely covers peons,
assistants, drivers, and so on, though it does also cover some other more
"powerful" posts) may well provide an excuse and a pretext to divert the
focus from combating medium and big ticket corruption to merely
catching the smaller fry and building up an impressive array of statistical
prosecutions and convictions without really being able to root out the true
malaise of medium and big ticket corruption which has largely escaped
scrutiny and punishment over the last 60 years.
(f) The Committee also believes that the recommendations in respect of
scope of coverage of the lower bureaucracy, made herein, are fully
consistent with the conclusions of the Minister of Finance on the floor of
the Houses, as quoted in para 1.8 above of this Report. Firstly, the lower
bureaucracy has been, partly, brought within the coverage as per the
recommendations above and is, thus, consistent with the essence of the
conclusion contained in para 1.8 above. Secondly, the Committee does not
read para 1.8 above to meet an inevitable and inexorable mandate to
necessarily subsume each and every group of civil servant (like Group ‘C’
or Group ‘D’, etc.). Thirdly, the in principle consensus reflected in para
1.8 would be properly, and in true letter and spirit, be implemented in
regard to the recommendations in the present Chapter for scope and
coverage of Lokpal presently. Lastly, it must be kept in mind that several
other recommendations in this Report have suggested substantial
improvements and strengthening of the provisions relating to policing of
other categories of personnel like C and D, inter alia, by the CVC and/or
to the extent relevant, to be dealt with as Citizens’ Charter and Grievance
Redressal issues.[Para 8.18]

False Complaints and Complainants: Punitive Measures

32.. It cannot be gainsaid that after the enormous productive effort put in by the
entire nation over the last few months for the creation of a new initiative like the
Lokpal Bill, it would not and cannot be assumed to be anyone's intention to
create a remedy virtually impossible to activate, or worse in consequence than
the disease. The Committee, therefore, starts with the basic principle that it must
harmoniously balance the legitimate but competing demands of prevention of
false, frivolous complaints on the one hand as also the clear necessity of ensuring
that no preclusive bar arises which would act as a deterrent for genuine and
bona fide complaints.[Para 9.6]

33. The Committee sees the existing provisions in this regard as disproportionate, to the point of being a deterrent.[Para 9.7]

34. The Committee finds a convenient analogous solution and therefore adopts the
model which the same Committee has adopted in its recently submitted report
on Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 presented to the Rajya
Sabha on August 30, 2011.[Para 9.8]

35. In para 18.8 of the aforesaid Report, the Committee, in the context of Judicial
Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 said : "The Committee endorses the
rationale of making a provision for punishment for making frivolous or
vexatious complaints. The Committee, however, expresses its reservation over
the prescribed quantum of punishment both in terms of imprisonment which is
up to 5 years and fine which is up to 5 lakh rupees. The severe punishment
prescribed in the Bill may deter the prospective complainants from coming
forward and defeat the very rationale of the Bill. In view of this, the Committee
recommends that Government should substantially dilute the quantum of the
punishment so as not to discourage people from taking initiatives against the
misbehaviour of a judge. In any case, it should not exceed the punishment
provided under the Contempt of Court Act. The Government may also consider
specifically providing in the Bill a proviso to protect those complainants from
punishment / penalty who for some genuine reasons fail to prove their
complaints. The Committee, accordingly, recommends that the Bill should
specifically provide for protection in case of complaints made 'in good faith' in
line with the defence of good faith available under the Indian Penal Code."
[Para 9.9]
36. Consequently, in respect of the Lokpal Bill, the Committee recommends that, in
respect of false and frivolous complaints, :
(a) The punishment should include simple imprisonment not exceeding six
(b) The fine should not exceed Rs.25000; and
(c) The Bill should specifically provide for protection in case of complaints
made in good faith in line with the defence of good faith available under
the Indian Penal Code under Section 52 IPC.[Para 9.10]

The Judiciary: To Include or Exclude

37. The Committee recommends:
(i) The Judiciary, comprising 31 odd judges of the Apex Court, 800 odd
judges of the High Courts, and 20,000 odd judges of the subordinate
judiciary are a part of a separate and distinct organ of the State. Such
separation of judicial power is vitally necessary for an independent
judiciary in any system and has been recognized specifically in Article 50
of the Indian Constitution. It is interesting that while the British
Parliamentary democratic system, which India adopted, has never
followed the absolute separation of powers doctrine between the
Legislature and the Executive, as, for example, found in the US system,
India has specifically mandated under its Constitution itself that such
separation must necessarily be maintained between the Executive and the
Legislature on the one hand and the Judiciary on the other.
(ii) Such separation, autonomy and necessary isolation is vital for ensuring
an independent judicial system. India is justifiably proud of a vigorous
(indeed sometimes over vigorous) adjudicatory judicial organ. Subjecting
that organ to the normal process of criminal prosecution or punishment
through the normal courts of the land would not be conducive to the
preservation of judicial independence in the long run.
(iii) If the Judiciary were included simpliciter as suggested in certain
quarters, the end result would be the possible and potential direct
prosecution of even an apex Court Judge before the relevant magistrate
exercising the relevant jurisdiction. The same would apply to High Court
Judges. This would lead to an extraordinarily piquant and an untenable
situation and would undermine judicial independence at its very root.
(iv) Not including the Judiciary under the present Lokpal dispensation does
not in any manner mean that this organ should be left unpoliced in
respect of corruption issues. This Committee has already proposed and
recommended a comprehensive Judicial Standards and Accountability
Bill which provides a complete in-house departmental mechanism, to deal
with errant judicial behavior by way of censure, warning, suspension,
recommendation or removal and so on within the judicial fold itself. The
Committee deprecates the criticism of the Judicial Standards and
Accountability Bill as excluding issues of corruption for the simple reason
that they were never intended to be addressed by that Bill and were
consciously excluded.
(v) As stated in para 21 of the report of this Committee on the Judicial
Standards and Accountability Bill, to this report, the 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 appointment process cannot be allowed and should not be
allowed to continue in the hands of a self-appointed common law
mechanism created by judicial order operating since the early 1990s. A
National Judicial Commission must be set up 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 Indian Constitution.
Without such a fundamental revamp of the appointment process at
source and at the inception, all other measures remain purely ex-post
facto and curative. Preventive measures to ensure high quality judicial
recruitment at the entrance point is vital.
(vi) It is the same National Judicial Commission which has to be entrusted
with powers of both transfer and criminal prosecution of judges for
corruption. If desired, by amending the provisions of the Constitution as
they stand today, such proposed National Judicial Commission may also
be given the power of dismissal / removal. In any event, this mechanism of
the National Judicial Commission is essential since it would obviate
allegations and challenges to the validity of any enactment dealing with
judges on the ground of erosion or impairment of judicial independence.
Such judicial independence has been held to be part of the basic structure
of the Indian Constitution and is therefore unamendable even by way of
an amendment of the Indian Constitution. It is for this reason that while
this Committee is very categorically and strongly of the view that there
should be a comprehensive mechanism for dealing with the trinity of
judicial appointments, judicial transfers and criminal prosecution of
judges, it is resisting the temptation of including them in the present
Lokpal Bill. The Committee, however, exhorts the appropriate
departments, with all the power at its command, to expeditiously bring a
Constitutional Amendment Bill to address the aforesaid trinity of core
issues directly impinging on the judicial system today viz. appointment of
high quality and high caliber judges at the inception, non-discriminatory
and effective transfers and fair and vigorous criminal prosecution of
corrupt judges without impairing or affecting judicial independence.
(vii) The Committee finds no reason to exclude from the conclusions on this
subject, the burgeoning number of quasi-judicial authorities including
tribunals as also other statutory and non-statutory bodies which, where
not covered under category ‘A’ and ‘B’ bureaucrats, exercise quasijudicial
powers of any kind. Arbitrations and other modes of alternative dispute resolution should also be specifically covered in this proposed mechanism. They should be covered in any eventual legislation dealing with corruption in the higher judiciary. The Committee notes that a large mass of full judicial functions, especially from the High Courts has, for the last 30 to 40 years, been progressively hived off to diverse tribunals exercising diverse powers under diverse statutory enactments. The Committee also notes that apart from and in addition to such tribunals, a plethora of Government officials or other persona designata exercise quasi judicial powers in diverse situations and diverse contexts. Whatever has been said in respect of the judiciary in this chapter should, in the considered opinion of this Committee, be made applicable, with
appropriate modifications in respect of quasi-judicial bodies, tribunals
and persons as well. [Para 10.21]

The Lokpal: Search and Selection

38. To ensure flexibility, speed and efficiency on the one hand and representation to all organs of State on the other, the Committee recommends a Selection
Committee comprising:-
(a) The Prime Minister of India- as Head of the Executive.
(b) The Speaker Lok Sabha, as Head of the Legislature.
(c) The Chief Justice of India-as Head of the Judiciary.
(d) The leader of the Opposition of the Lower House.
(e) An eminent Indian, selected as elaborated in the next paragraph.
N.B.: functionaries like the Chairman and Leader of the Opposition of the
Upper House have not been included in the interests of compactness and
flexibility. The Prime Minister would preside over the Selection Committee. [Para 11.18]

39. The 5th Member of the Selection Committee in (e) above should be a joint
nominee selected jointly by the three designated Constitutional bodies viz., the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and
the UPSC Chairman. This ensures a reasonably wide and representative degree
of inputs from eminent Constitutional bodies, without making the exercise too
cumbersome. Since the other Members of the Selection Committee are all exofficio,
this 5th nominee of the aforesaid Constitutional bodies shall be nominated
for a fixed term of five years. Additionally, it should be clarified that he should
be an eminent Indian and all the diverse criteria, individually, jointly or
severally, applicable as specified in Clause 4 (1) (i) of the Lokpal Bill 2011 should be kept in mind by the aforesaid three designated Constitutional
nominators.[Para 11.19]

40. There should, however, be a proviso in Clause 4(3) to the effect that a Search
Committee shall comprise at least seven Members and shall ensure
representation 50 per cent to Members of SC’s and/or STs and/or Other
Backward Classes and/or Minorities and/or Women or any category or
combination thereof. Though there is some merit in the suggestion that the
Search Committee should not be mandatory since, firstly, the Selection
Committee may not need to conduct any search and secondly, since this gives a
higher degree of flexibility and speed to the Selection Committee, the Committee,
on deep consideration, finally opines that the Search Committee should be made
mandatory. The Committee does so, in particular, in view of the high desirability
of providing representation in the Search Committee as stated above which, this
Committee believes, cannot be effectively ensured without the mandatory
requirement to have a Search Committee. It should, however, be clarified that
the person/s selected by the Search Committee shall not be binding on the
Selection Committee and secondly, that, where the Selection Committee rejects
the recommendations of the Search Committee in respect of any particular post,
the Selection Committee shall not be obliged to go back to the Search Committee
for the same post but would be entitled to proceed directly by itself. [ Para 11.20]

41. Over the years, there has been growing concern in India that the entire mass of
statutory quasi judicial and other similar tribunals, bodies or entities have been
operated by judicial personnel i.e. retired judges, mainly of the higher judiciary
viz. the High Courts and the Supreme Court.[Para 11.20(A)]

42. There is no doubt that judicial training and experience imparts not only a
certain objectivity but a certain technique of adjudication which, intrinsically
and by training, is likely to lead to greater care and caution in preserving
principles like fair play, natural justice, burden of proof and so on and so forth.
Familiarity with case law and knowledge of intricate legal principles, is naturally
available in retired judicial personnel of the higher judiciary.[Para11.20(B)]

43. However, when a new and nascent structure like Lokpal is being contemplated,
it is necessary not to fetter or circumscribe the discretion of the appointing
authority. The latter is certainly entitled to appoint judges to the Lokpal, and
specific exclusion of judges is neither contemplated nor being provided.
However, to consider, as the Lokpal Bill 2011 does, only former Chief Justices of
India or former judges of the Supreme Court as the Chairperson of the Lokpal
would be a totally uncalled for and unnecessary fetter. The Committee,
therefore, recommends that clause 3(2) be suitably modified not to restrict the
Selection Committee to selecting only a sitting or former Chief Justice of India or
judge of the Supreme Court as Chairperson of the Lokpal.[Para 11.20(C)]

44. A similar change is not suggested in respect of Members of the Lokpal and the
existing provision in clause 3 (2) (b) read with clause 19 may continue. Although
the Committee does believe that it is time to consider tribunals staffed by
outstanding and eminent Indians, not necessarily only from a pool of retired
members of the higher judiciary, the Committee feels hamstrung by the Apex
Court decision in L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India 1997 (3) SCC 261 which
has held and has been interpreted to hold that statutory tribunals involving
adjudicatory functions must not sit singly but must sit in benches of two and that
at least one of the two members must be a judicial member. Hence, unless the
aforesaid judgment of the Apex Court in L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India is
reconsidered, the Committee refrains from suggesting corresponding changes in
clause 3 (2) (b) read with clause 19, though it has been tempted to do so.[Para

45. There is merit in the suggestion that clause 3 (4) of the Lokpal Bill 2011 be
further amended to clarify that a person shall not be eligible to become
Chairperson or Member of Lokpal if:
(a) He/ she is a person convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude;
(b) He/ she is a person less than 45 years of age, on date of assuming office as
Chairperson or Member of Lokpal;
(c) He/ she has been in the service of any Central or State Government or
any entity owned or controlled by the Central or State Government and
has vacated office either by way of resignation, removal or retirement
within the period of 12 months prior to the date of appointment as
Chairperson or Member of Lokpal.[Para 11.20(E)]

46. In clause 9 (2), the existing provision should be retained but it should be added at the end of that clause, for the purpose of clarification, that no one shall be eligible for re-appointment as Chairperson or Member of the Lokpal if he has already enjoyed a term of five years.[Para 11.20(F)]

47. The Committee has already recommended appropriate representation on the
Search Committee, to certain sections of society who have been historically
marginalized. The Committee also believes that although the institution of
Lokpal is a relatively small body of nine members and specific reservation
cannot and ought not to be provided in the Lokpal institution itself, there should
be a provision added after clause 4 (5) to the effect that the Selection Committee
and the Search Committee shall make every endeavour to reflect, on the Lokpal
institution, the diversity of India by including the representation, as far as
practicable, of historically marginalized sections of the society like SCs/ STs,
OBCs, minorities and women. [Para 11.20(G)]

48. As regards clause 51 of the Lokpal Bill, 2011, the Committee recommends that
the intent behind the clause be made clear by way of an Explanation to be added
to the effect that the clause is not intended to provide any general exemption and
that "good faith" referred to in clause 52 shall have the same meaning as
provided in section 52 of the IPC.[Para 11.20(H)]
The Trinity of the Lokpal, CBI and CVC:
In Search of an Equilibrium
49. (A) Whatever is stated hereinafter in these recommendations is obviously
applicable only to Lokpal and Lokayukta covered personnel and offences/
misconduct, as already delineated in this Report earlier, inter alia, in Chapter 8
and elsewhere.
(B) For those outside (A) above, the existing law, except to the extent changed,
would continue to apply. (Para 12.32]

50. This Chapter, in the opinion of the Committee, raises an important issue of the
quality of both investigation and prosecution; the correct balance and an
apposite equilibrium of 3 entities (viz. Lokpal, CBI and CVC) after creation of
the new entity called Lokpal; harmonious functioning and real life operational
efficacy of procedural and substantive safeguards; the correct balance between
initiation of complaint, its preliminary screening/ inquiry, its further
investigation, prosecution, adjudication and punishment; and the correct
harmonization of diverse provisions of law arising from the Delhi Special Police
Establishment Act, the CVC Act, the proposed Lokpal Act, the IPC, CrPC and
the Prevention of Corruption Act. It is, therefore, a somewhat delicate and
technical task. [Para 12.33]

51. The stages of criminal prosecution of the Lokpal and Lokayukta covered persons
and officers can be divided broadly into 5 stages, viz. (a) The stage of complaint,
whether by a complainant or suo motu, (b) the preliminary screening of such a
complaint, (c) the full investigation of the complaint and the report in that
respect, (d) prosecution, if any, on the basis of the investigation and (e)
adjudication, including punishment, if any.[Para 12.34]

52. The Committee recommends that the complaint should be allowed to be made
either by any complainant or initiated suo motu by the Lokpal. Since, presently,
the CBI also has full powers of suo motu initiation of investigation, a power
which is frequently exercised, it is felt that that the same power of suo motu
proceedings should also be preserved for both the CBI and the Lokpal, subject,
however, to overall supervisory jurisdiction of the Lokpal over the CBI,
including simultaneous intimation and continued disclosure of progress of any
inquiry or investigation by the CBI to the Lokpal, subject to what has been
elaborated in the next paragraph.[Para 12.35]

53. Once the complaint, through any party or suo motu has arisen, it must be
subject to a careful and comprehensive preliminary screening to rule out false,
frivolous and vexatious complaints. This power of preliminary inquiry must
necessarily vest in the Lokpal. However, in this respect, the recommendations of
the Committee in para 12.36(I) should be read with this para. This is largely
covered in clause 23 (1) of the Lokpal Bill, 2011. However, in this respect, the
Lokpal would have to be provided, at the inception, with a sufficiently large
internal inquiry machinery. The Lokpal Bill, 2011 has an existing set of
provisions (Clauses 13 and 14 in Chapter III) which refers to a full-fledged
investigation wing. In view of the structure proposed in this Chapter, there need
not be such an investigation wing but an efficacious inquiry division for holding
the preliminary inquiry in respect of the complaint at the threshold. Preliminary
inquiry by the Lokpal also semantically distinguishes itself from the actual
investigation by the CBI after it is referred by the Lokpal to the CBI. The
pattern for provision of such an inquiry wing may be similar to the existing
structure as provided in Chapter III of the Lokpal Bill 2011 but with suitable
changes made, mutatis mutandis, and possible merger of the provisions of
Chapter VII with Chapter III.[Para 12.36]

54. The Committee is concerned at the overlap of terminology used and procedures
proposed, between preliminary inquiry by the Lokpal as opposed to investigation by the investigating agency, presently provided in Clause 23 of the Lokpal Bill. The Committee, therefore, recommends:
(a) that only two terms be used to demarcate and differentiate between
the preliminary inquiry to be conducted by the Lokpal, inter-alia,
under Chapters VI and VII read with Clause 2(1)(e) as opposed to an
investigation by the investigating agency which has been proposed to
be the CBI in the present report. Appropriate changes should make it
clear that the investigation (by the CBI as recommended in this
report), shall have the same meaning as provided in Clause 2 (h) of the
Cr.P.C whereas the terms “inquiry” or “preliminary investigation”
should be eschewed and the only two terms used should be
“preliminary inquiry” ( by the Lokpal) on the one hand &
“investigation” (by the CBI), on the other.
(b) the term preliminary inquiry should be used instead of the term
inquiry in clause 2(1)(e) and it should be clarified therein that it refers
to preliminary inquiry done by the Lokpal in terms of Chapters VI
and VII of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 and does not mean or refer to the
inquiry mentioned in Section 2(g) of the Cr.P.C.
(c) the term “investigation” alone should be used while eschewing terms
like “preliminary investigation” and a similar definitional provision
may be inserted after Clause 2(1)(e) to state that the term
investigation shall have the same meaning as defined in Clause 2(h) of
the Cr.P.C.
(d) Similar changes would have to be made in all other clauses in the Lokpal
Bill, 2011, one example of which includes Clause-14.[Para 12.36(A)]

55. There are several parts of Clause 23 of the 2011 Bill, including Clauses 23(4),
23(5), 23(6), 23(9) and 23(11) which require an opportunity of being heard to be
given to the public servant during the course of the preliminary inquiry i.e. the
threshold proceedings before the Lokpal in the sense discussed above. After deep
consideration, the Committee concludes that it is unknown to criminal law to
provide for hearing to the accused at the stage of preliminary inquiry by the
appropriate authority i.e. Lokpal or Lokayukta in this case. Secondly, the
preliminary inquiry is the stage of verification of basic facts regarding the
complaint, the process of filtering out false, frivolous, fictitious and vexatious
complaints and the general process of seeing that there is sufficient material to
indicate the commission of cognizable offences to justify investigation by the
appropriate investigating agency. If the material available in the complaint at
the stage of its verification through the preliminary inquiry is fully disclosed to
the accused, a large part of the entire preliminary inquiry, later investigation,
prosecution and so on, may stand frustrated or irreversibly prejudiced at the
threshold. Thirdly, and most importantly, the preliminary inquiry is being
provided as a threshold filter in favour of the accused and is being entrusted to
an extremely high authority like the Lokpal, created after a rigorous selection
procedure. Other agencies like the CBI also presently conduct preliminary
inquiries but do not hear or afford natural justice to the accused during that
process. Consequently the Committee recommends that all references in Clause
23 or elsewhere in the Lokpal Bill, 2011 to hearing of the accused at the
preliminary inquiry stage should be deleted.[Para 12.36(B)]

56. Since the Committee has recommended abolition of the personal hearing process
before the Lokpal during the preliminary inquiry, the Committee deems it fit
and proper to provide for the additional safeguard that the decision of the
Lokpal at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry to refer the matter further
for investigation to the CBI, shall be taken by a Bench of the Lokpal consisting of
not less than 3 Members which shall decide the issue regarding reference to
investigation, by a majority out of these three.[Para 12.36.(BB)]

57. Naturally it should also be made clear that the accused is entitled to a full
hearing before charges are framed. Some stylistic additions like referring to the
charge sheet “if any” (since there may or may not be a chargesheet) may also be
added to Clause 23(6). Consequently, Clauses like 23(7) and other similar clauses
contemplating proceedings open to public hearing must also be deleted. [Para

58. Clause 23(8) would have to be suitably modified to provide that the appropriate
investigation period for the appropriate investigating agency i.e. CBI in the
present case, should normally be within six months with only one extension of a
further six months, for special reasons. Reference in Clause 23(8) to “inquiry”
creates highly avoidable confusion and it should be specified that the meanings
assigned to inquire and investigate should be as explained above.[Para 12.36(D)]

59. The Committee also believes that there may be several exigencies during the
course of both preliminary inquiry and investigation which may lead to a
violation of the 30 days or six months periods respectively specified in Clause
27(2) and 23(8). The Committee believes that it cannot be the intention of the law
that where acts and omissions by the accused create an inordinate delay in the
preliminary inquiry and / or other factors arise which are entirely beyond the
control of the Lokpal, the accused should get the benefit or that the criminal trial
should terminate. For that purpose it is necessary to insert a separate and
distinct provision which states that Clauses 23(2), 23(8) or other similar time
limit clauses elsewhere in the Lokpal Bill, 2011, shall not automatically give any
benefit or undue advantage to the accused and shall not automatically thwart or
terminate the trial. [Para 12.36(E)]

60. Clause 23(10) also needs to be modified. Presently, it states in general terms the discretion to hold or not to hold preliminary inquiry by the Lokpal for reasons to be recorded in writing. However, this may lead to allegations of pick and choose
and of arbitrariness and selectivity. The Committee believes that Clause 23(10)
should be amended to provide for only one definition viz., that preliminary
inquiry may be dispensed with only in trap cases and must be held in all other
cases. Even under the present established practice, the CBI dispenses with
preliminary inquiry only in a trap case for the simple reason that the context of
the trap case itself constitutes preliminary verification of the offence and no
further preliminary inquiry is necessary. Indeed, for the trap cases, Section 6 A
(ii) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 also dispenses with the
provision of preliminary inquiries. For all cases other than the trap cases, the
preliminary inquiry by the Lokpal must be a non dispensable necessity.[Para

61. Clause 23(11) also needs to be modified / deleted since, in this Report, it is
proposed that it is the CBI which conducts the investigation which covers and
includes the process of filing the charge sheet and closure report. [Para 12.36(G)]
62. Similarly Clause 23 (12) (b) would have to be deleted, in view of the conclusion
hereinabove regarding the absence of any need to provide natural justice to the
accused at the stage of preliminary inquiry. Clause 23(14) is also unusually
widely worded. It does not indicate as to whom the Lokpal withhold records
from. Consequently that cannot be a general blanket power given to the Lokpal
to withhold records from the accused or from the investigating agency. Indeed,
that would be unfair, illegal and unconstitutional since it would permit selectivity
as also suppress relevant information. The clause, therefore, needs to be
amended.[Para 12.36(H)]

63. The case of the Lokpal initiating action suo motu, requires separate comment. In
a sense, the preliminary inquiry in the case of a Lokpal suo motu action becomes
superfluous since the same body ( i.e. Lokpal) which initiates the complaint, is
supposed to do a preliminary inquiry. This may, however, not be as anomalous
as it sounds since even under the present structure, the CBI, or indeed the local
police, does both activities ie suo motu action as also preliminary screening/
inquiry. The Committee was tempted to provide for another body to do
preliminary inquiry in cases where the Lokpal initiates suo motu action, but in
fact no such body exists and it would create great multiplicity and logistical
difficulty in creating and managing so many bodies. Hence the Committee
concludes that in cases of suo motu action by Lokpal, a specific provision must
provide that that part of the Lokpal which initiates the suo motu proposal,
should be scrupulously kept insulated from any part of the preliminary inquiry
process following upon such suo motu initiation. It must be further provided that
the preliminary inquiry in cases of suo motu initiation must be done by a Lokpal
Bench of not less than five Members and these should be unconnected with those
who do the suo motu initiation.[Para 12.36(I)]

64. These recommendations also prevent the Lokpal from becoming a single
institution fusing unto itself the functions of complainant, preliminary inquirer,
full investigator and prosecutor. It increases objectivity and impartiality in the
criminal investigative process and precludes the charge of creating an
unmanageable behemoth like Lokpal, while diminishing the possibility of abuse
of power by the Lokpal itself.[Para 12.37]

65. These recommendations also have the following advantages:
(i) The CBI’s apprehension, not entirely baseless, that it would become a
Hamlet without a Prince of Denmark if its Anti-Corruption Wing was
hived off to the Lokpal, would be taken care of.
(ii) It would be unnecessary to make CBI or CVC a Member of the Lokpal
body itself.
(iii) The CBI would not be subordinate to the Lokpal nor its espirit de corps
be adversely affected; it would only be subject to general superintendence
of Lokpal. It must be kept in mind that the CBI is an over 60 year old
body, which has developed a certain morale and espirit de corps, a
particular culture and set of practices, which should be strengthened and
improved, rather than merely subsumed or submerged within a new or
nascent institution, which is yet to take root. Equally, the CBI, while
enhancing its autonomy and independence, cannot be left on auto pilot.
(iv) The CVC would retain a large part of its disciplinary and functional role
for non Lokpal personnel and regarding misconduct while not being
subordinate to the Lokpal. However, for Lokpal covered personnel and
issues, including the role of the CBI, the CVC would have no role.
(v) Mutatis mutandis statutory changes in the Lokpal Bill, the CVC and the
CBI Acts and in related legislation, is accordingly recommended.
[Para 12.38]

66. After the Lokpal has cleared the stage for further investigation, the matter
should proceed to the CBI. This stage of the investigation must operate with the
following specific enumerated statutory principles and provisions:
(A) On the merits of the investigation in any case, the CBI shall not be
answerable or liable to be monitored either by the Administrative
Ministry or by the Lokpal. This is also fully consistent with the
established jurisprudence on the subject which makes it clear that the
merits of the criminal investigation cannot be gone into or dealt with even
by the superior courts. However, since in practise it has been observed in
the breach, it needs to be unequivocally reiterated as a statutory
provision, in the proposed Lokpal Act, a first in India.
(B) The CBI shall, however, continue to be subject to the general supervisory
superintendence of the Lokpal. This shall be done by adding a provision
as exists today in the CVC Act which shall now apply to the Lokpal in
respect of the CBI. Consequently, the whole of the Section 8 (1) (not
Section 8 (2) ) of the CVC Act should be included in the Lokpal Bill to
provide for the superintendence power of the Lokpal over the CBI.[Para 12.39]

67. Correspondingly, reference in Section 4 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act to the CVC would have to be altered to refer to the Lokpal. [Para 12.40]

68. At this stage, the powers of the CBI would further be strengthened and enhanced
by clarifying explicitly in the Lokpal Bill that all types of prior sanctions/terms
or authorizations, by whatever name called, shall not be applicable to Lokpal
covered persons or prosecutions. Consequently, the provisions of Section 6 (A) of
the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, Section 19 of the Prevention of
Corruption Act and Section 197 of the IPC or any other provision of the law,
wherever applicable, fully or partially, will stand repealed and rendered
inoperative in respect of Lokpal and Lokayukta prosecutions, another first in
India. Clause 27 of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 is largely consistent with this but the
Committee recommends that it should further clarify that Section 6 A of the
DSPE Act shall also not apply in any manner to proceedings under the proposed
Act. The sanction requirement, originating as a salutary safeguard against witch
hunting has, over the years, as applied by the bureaucracy itself, degenerated
into a refuge for the guilty, engendering either endless delay or obstructing all
meaningful action. Moreover, the strong filtering mechanism at the stage of
preliminary inquiry proposed in respect of the Lokpal, is a more than adequate
safeguard, substituting effectively for the sanction requirement. Elsewhere, this
Report recommends that all sanction requirements should be eliminated even in
respect of non Lokpal covered personnel. [Para 12.41]

69. The previous two paragraphs if implemented, would achieve genuine and
declared statutory independence of investigation for the first time for the
CBI.[Para 12.42]

70. The main investigation, discussed in the previous few paragraphs, to be
conducted by the CBI, necessarily means the stage from which it is handed over
to the CBI by the Lokpal, till the stage that the CBI files either a chargesheet or
a closure report under Section 173 of the CrPC. However, one caveat needs to be
added at this stage. The CBI's chargesheet or closure report must be filed after
the approval by the Lokpal and, if necessary, suitable changes may have to be
made in this regard to Section 173 Cr PC and other related provisions.[Para 12.43]

71. The aforesaid independence of the CBI is reasonable and harmonizes well with
the supervisory superintendence of the Lokpal in the proposed Lokpal Bill,
which is now exercised by CVC under Section 8 (1) of the CVC Act. The
Committee recommends the above provision, suitably adapted to be applicable
in the relationship between the Lokpal and the CBI. [Para 12.44]

72. The next stage of the criminal process would go back to the Lokpal with full
powers of prosecution on the basis of the investigation by the CBI. The following
points in this respect are noteworthy:
• Clause 15 in Chapter IV of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 already contains
adequate provisions in this regard and they can, with some modifications,
be retained and applied.
• The Committee's recommendations create, again for the first time, a fair
demarcation between independent investigation and independent
prosecution by two distinct bodies, which would considerably enhance
impartiality, objectivity and the quality of the entire criminal process.
• It creates, for the first time in India, an independent prosecution wing,
under the general control and superintendence of the Lokpal, which,
hopefully will eventually develop into a premium, independent
autonomous Directorate of Public Prosecution with an independent
prosecution service (under the Lokpal institution). The Committee also
believes that this structure would not in any manner diminish or dilute
the cooperative and harmonious interface between the investigation and
prosecution processes since the former, though conducted by the CBI,
comes under the supervisory jurisdiction of the Lokpal.[Para 12.45]

73. The next stage is that of adjudication and punishment, if any, which shall, as
before, be done by a special Judge. The Committee considers that it would be
desirable to use the nomenclature of 'Lokpal Judge' ( or Lokayukta Judge in
respect of States) under the new dispensation. However, this is largely a matter
of nomenclature and existing provisions in the Lokpal Bill, 2011 in Chapter IX
are adequate, though they need to be applied, with modifications. [Para 12.46]
74. The aforesaid integrates all the stages of a criminal prosecution for an offence of corruption but still leaves open the issue of departmental proceedings in respect of the same accused.[Para 12.47]

75. The Committee agrees that for the Lokpal covered personnel and issues, it would
be counter-productive, superfluous and unnecessary to have the CVC to play
any role in departmental proceedings. Such a role would be needlessly
duplicative and superfluous. For such matters, the Lokpal should be largely
empowered to do all those things which the CVC presently does, but with some
significant changes, elaborated below.[Para 12.48]
76. Clauses 28 and 29 of the Lokpal Bill are adequate in this regard but the
following changes are recommended:
(i) The Lokpal or Lokayukta would be the authority to recommend
disciplinary proceedings for all Lokpal or Lokayukta covered persons.
(ii) The CVC would exercise jurisdiction for all non Lokpal covered persons
in respect of disciplinary proceedings.
(iii) The CBI would similarly continue to exercise its existing powers under
the CVC's superintendence for all non Lokpal personnel and proceedings.
(iv) Departmental action must, as the law today stands, comply with the over
arching mandate of Article 311 of the Indian Constitution. Dissatisfaction
or objection to the practical operation of Article 311, fully understandable
and indeed justifiable, does not permit or impel us to ignore the existence
of Article 311, until altered. If there is consensus outside the Committee
on amending Article 311, it must be amended as elaborated and
recommended by the Committee in paragraph 12.49. However, absent
such a consensus, the passage of the Lokpal Bill need not be held up on
that account and hence the present report makes recommendations on the
basis of the continuance of Article 311. If, however, it is amended as per
paragraph 12.49, the proposed Lokpal Act can easily be modified to
reflect such changes.
(v) It may also be remembered that the Lokpal itself does not conduct the
departmental proceedings. For the law to provide for Lokpal to conduct
the entire departmental proceedings itself, would be to put a humungous
and unworkable burden on the institution.
(vi) Therefore, the power to take departmental action whether in the case of
bureaucrats or in the case of Ministers as provided in Clauses 28 and 29
of the Lokpal Bill 2011, are largely appropriate.
(vii) The Committee is informed that suspension of a delinquent officer during
his criminal prosecution is virtually automatic in practice. However, the
Committee feels the need to emphasize that a specific provision be added
in Chapter VII making it clear that once any bureaucrat (viz. group A or
group B officer) as covered in the proposed Lokpal Bill is under
investigation and the Lokpal makes a recommendation that such a person
be suspended, such suspension should mandatorily be carried out unless,
for reasons to be recorded in writing by a majority out of a group of 3
persons not below the rank of Ministers of State belonging to the
Ministries of Home, Personnel and the relevant administrative Ministry
of the delinquent officer, opine to the contrary. Such suspension on
Lokpal recommendation does not violate Article 311 in any manner.
Refusal by the aforesaid Committee of three provides a check and balance
qua possibly unreasonable Lokpal recommendations. The reference is to
three high functionaries of three Ministries and not to the Administrative
Ministry alone since it is frequently found in practise that the
Administrative Ministry's responses alone may seek to preserve the status
quo on account of vested interests arising from the presence of the
delinquent officer in that Administrative Ministry.
(viii) There cannot be a counterpart suspension provision in respect of MPs or
Ministers or the like, but an explicit clause may be added to the existing
Clause 29 that the Presiding Officer of the relevant House in the case of
MPs and Prime Minister in the case of a member of the Council of
Ministers shall record a note in writing indicating the action being taken
in regard to the Lokpal's recommendations or the reasons for not taking
such action.
(ix) Wherever otherwise applicable, in respect of the details of the
departmental inquiry, the provisions of Article 311 would, unless altered
and subject to Paras D above and 12.49 below, continue to apply.[Para 12.49]

77. The Committee strongly pleads and recommends that the provisions of Article
311 require a close and careful relook to ensure that reasonable protection is
given to bureaucrats for the independent and fair discharge of their functions
but that the enormous paraphernalia of procedural rules and regulations which
have become a major obstacle in the taking of genuine and legitimate
departmental action against delinquent officers, be eliminated. The Committee
notes with concern and with growing apprehension that serious and high level /
big ticket corruption has increased exponentially since Independence at all levels
in the Lokpal proposed categories of personnel. In particular, bureaucratic
corruption has been relatively ignored or underplayed in the context of the
excessive media and civil society focus on political corruption, coupled with the
doctrine of civil service anonymity, which this country imported from our
former colonial masters. Hence, the substantial modification of Article 311 or,
indeed, its replacement by a much lesser statutory (not constitutional
counterpart) should be taken up and implemented at the earliest. It may be
added that what requires to be looked into is not the mere text of Article 311 but
the context which has grown around it, through an undesirably large number of
statutory and non-statutory rules, procedures and regulations coupled with huge
common law jurisprudence over the last 6 decades. It is universally believed that
the aforesaid has, in practice, converted Article 311, from a reasonable and
salutary safeguard to a haven for those indulging in mal-administration and/
corruption with no fear of consequences and the certainty of endless delay. The
fact that Article 311 had been given constitutional and not mere statutory status
is also responsible for its largely unchanged character over the last six plus
decades.[Para 12.50]

78. Though not strictly within the purview of the Lokpal Bill 2011 itself, the
Committee also recommends that CVC's advice in respect of departmental
action to be taken by the relevant department in case of non-Lokpal covered
personnel must, by a suitable amendment to the CVC Act, be made binding to
the extent that, unless for reasons to be recorded by a majority out of the same
joint group as aforesaid, comprising 3 persons not below the rank of Ministers of
State belonging respectively to the Ministries of Home Affairs, Personnel and the
Administrative Ministry to which the delinquent officer belongs, states that CVC
advice be not followed, such CVC advice shall be binding. [Para 12.51]

79. The Committee has deliberated long and hard on whether it can or should go to
the extent of suggesting changes in the selection procedure of the CBI chief.
Presently, the CBI chief is appointed by the Government on the recommendation
of a Committee consisting of the CVC as Chairperson, Vigilance Commissioner,
Secretary, Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Secretary
of the Administrative Ministry (in this case the Ministry of Personnel) [see
Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946]. Section 8 (2) of
the 1946 Act further provides for a mandatory input in the selection of a new
Director to be made by the outgoing Director and also enjoins upon the
Committee, in Section 8 (3), to make recommendations for a panel of officers on
the basis of seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anticorruption cases, necessarily belonging to the Indian Police Services. [Para

80. Interestingly, Section 4 C of the same 1946 Act provides for the same Committee
to make recommendations for all appointments as also extension or curtailment
of tenure of all officers above the level of Superintendent of Police in the CBI.
[Para 12.53]

81. It is thus clear that it is not correct to suggest that the Central Government has absolute discretion in appointing the CBI Director. After the Vineet Narain vs.
Union of India judgment* by the Apex Court, significant changes were brought
into the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. In 2003 (by Act 45 of 2003)
providing for the aforesaid independent and autonomous regime for selection
and appointment of CBI Director. The Central Vigilance Commissioner who
heads the selection and recommendation process is itself a high statutory
authority under a separate enactment called the Central Vigilance Commission
Act of 2003 which, in turn in Section 4, obliges the Government to appoint the
CVC on the basis of a recommendation of a high powered Committee
comprising the Prime Minster, the Home Minister and the leader of opposition
in the Lok Sabha. It is, therefore, erroneous to brush aside the existing system as
merely involving absolute power/discretion to select Government favourites as
CBI Director. [Para 12.54]

82. Furthermore, the Committee believes that it would neither be proper nor
desirable for the Committee to go into and suggest fundamental statutory
alterations to the procedure for selection and appointment of CBI Director,
which appears, nowhere, directly or indirectly, to be a subject referred for the
consideration of this Committee. Collateral recommendations of this nature by a
side wind should, in the opinion of this Committee, be avoided, especially since
* 1996(2) SCC 199. significant statutory changes have been brought in with respect to the appointment of the CBI Director less than 8 years ago. [Para 12.55]

Constitutional Status: If, How and How Much

83. The Committee, therefore, recommends:-
(a) The institution of Lokpal must be given constitutional status by inserting
into the Constitution by way of constitutional amendment certain basic
principles about the Lokpal and leaving the details in the new proposed
statute on which this Committee is opining.
(b) One practical, reasonable and legally valid model would be for the
Government to consider the model and set of provisions asked for by the
Committee and presented in the evidence to the Committee as a draft
constitutional amendment by two former Chief Justices of India. That
draft is enclosed herewith as Annexure ‘F’ and is self-explanatory.
(c) This constitutional amendment does not require ratification by not less
than half of the State Legislatures since it does not seek to make any
change in any of the provisions listed in the second proviso to Article 368
(2) of the Indian Constitution.
(d) The constitutional amendment should, as reflected in the enclosed
Annexure ‘F’ be a set of basic principles for the Lokpal as also provide
for the basic set up of the Lokayuktas. Both these provisions, proposed in
the enclosed draft, propose Part XVA and Articles 329(C) and 329(D), as
enabling, empowering and permissive provisions and authorize and
empower the appropriate legislature to make proper laws, mutatis
mutandis, for Lokpal at the Centre and for Lokayuktas at the State.
(e) Such a constitutional status would not only considerably enhance the
stature, legal and moral authority of the Lokpal institution but would
make interference and tinkering in these basic principles not subject to
the vicissitudes of ordinary or transient majorities. Over a period of time,
it is likely that these principles would develop into a set of immutable
principles and, possibly, even become part of basic structure of the
Constitution rendering the existence of the Lokpal and its basic features
un-amendable even by a constitutional amendment.
(f) Apprehensions regarding delay are misplaced. The constitutional
amendment bill would be much shorter than the statutory bill for the new
proposed Lokpal and can be passed on the same day and at the same time
as the latter, though by a different majority. It is inconceivable that while
parties are in favour of the institution of Lokpal in principle, as a
statutory body, parties would not agree with equal alacrity for the
passage of a constitutional amendment bill.
(g) The suggestion that the entire statutory bill should be transposed as a
constitutional amendment into the Constitution is untenable and
impracticable. That would eliminate flexibility and would require a
constitutional amendment for the smallest future change. Moreover, the
Constitution does not and is not intended to provide for nitty gritty
operational details. It should be and is intended to be a declaration of
general and basic principles which, in turn, enable and empower formal
legislation, which in turn would take care of the details.
(h) An easy or casual repeal of the entire Lokpal scheme would not be
possible once it is constitutionally entrenched.
(i) Similarly, there would be no option for the federal or State Legislatures
not to have a Lokpal or a Lokayukta at all since the constitutional
mandate would be to the contrary.
(j) Contextually, the issues and some of the suggestions in this Chapter may
overlap with and should, therefore, be read in conjunction with Chapter 7
of this report. Though the Committee has already opined in Chapter 4 of
this Report here that the issues of grievance redressal should be dealt
with in a separate legislation, the Committee hereby also strongly
recommends that there should be a similar declaration either in the same
Chapter of the Lokpal or in a separate Chapter proposed to be added in
the Indian Constitution, giving the same constitutional status to the
citizens grievances and redressal machinery.
(k) This recommendation also reflects the genuine and deep concern of this
Committee about the need, urgency, status and importance of a citizen's
charter/grievance machinery and the Committee believes that the giving
of the aforesaid constitutional status to this machinery would go a long
way in enhancing its efficacy and in providing a healing touch to the
common man.
(l) Furthermore, the Committee believes that this recommendation herein is
also fully consistent with the letter and spirit of para 1.8 above viz. the
conclusions of the Minister of Finance in the Lower House recorded in
para 1.8 above. [Para 13.12]

The Jurisdictional Limits of Lokpal: Private NGOs, Corporates and Media

84. There is no doubt that corruption is neither the exclusive preserve nor the
special privilege nor the unique entitlement of only the political or bureaucratic
classes. Nor can anyone justify exclusionary holy cows, supposedly immunized,
exempted or put outside the purview of a new and vigorous anti-corruption
monitoring, investigation and prosecution regime as the proposed new Lokpal
Bill seeks to create. If corruption is rampant in a country like India, it permeates
and pervades every nook and cranny of society and is certainly not restricted to
the political or bureaucratic classes. Indeed, while no specific statistical data are available, it may not be at all inconceivable that, in quantum terms, the degree of corruption in the non-political/non-bureaucratic private sector, in the aggregate, is far higher than in the realm of political and bureaucratic classes alone. Therefore, in principle, non-application of the proposed Lokpal Bill to all such classes does not appear to be justifiable.[Para 14.22]

85. In this connection, the very recent UK Bribery Act, 2010, is both interesting and instructive. Drafted in a completely non-legalistic manner, format and language,
this Act seeks to criminalize corruption everywhere and anywhere, i.e. in the
public and private sectors in UK, in Governmental and non-Governmental sectors, by UK citizens abroad, by non-UK citizens acting in UK and in the entire gamut of private and individual transactions in addition to covering dealings in the private sector, intra-private sector, intra-public sector, in Government and private interface and in every other nook and cranny of society.[Para 14.23]

86. Despite the above and despite the simplicity and attractiveness of an all inclusive approach, the latter must yield to exigencies of logistics, operational efficacy and pragmatism. Since this is the nation’s first experiment with a central Lokpal institution, it would amount to starry-eyed idealism to recommend the blanket
inclusion of every segment of society under the jurisdiction of an omnipotent and
omniscient Lokpal. Such comprehensive inclusion is entirely understandable and
may be logically more justifiable in principle, but, in the final opinion of the
Committee, must await several years of evolution of the Lokpal institution and a
corpus of experiential and practical lessons as also the wisdom of a future
generation of Parliamentarians.[Para 14.24]

87. As far as the proposed dispensation is concerned, the only available dividing and demarcating line between the complete inclusion and partial exclusion of entities from the jurisdiction of the Lokpal would have to be some test of Government ownership and/or control and/or size of the entity concerned. In this regard, clauses 17 (1) (f) and (g) of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 are relevant. Clause 17 (1) (f) applies the Lokpal jurisdiction mainly to office-bearers of every society, A.o.P. or trust, registered or not, but wholly or partially financed or aided by the
Government, subject to being above some specified annual income minima. Clause 17 (1) (g), similarly, applies the Lokpal to office-bearers of every society,
A.o.P. or trust, receiving donations from the public, again subject to an annual
income minima to be specified by the Central Government.[Para 14.25]

88. After deep consideration, the Committee believes and recommends that these
clauses should be merged and expanded to provide for the following coverage/jurisdiction of the Lokpal:
(a) The Lokpal jurisdiction should apply to each and every institution/entity, by whatever name called, owned or controlled by the Central Government, subject, however, to an exclusionary minima, where the ownership or control of the Central Government de minims. Such minima would have to be specified and the power of such specification should be given to the Central Government by notification;
(b) Additionally, all entities/institutions, by whatever name called, receiving
donations from the public above a certain minima, liable to be specified
by the Central Government should be included. In addition, as also all
entities/institutions receiving donations from foreign sources in the terms
and context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess
of Rs.10 lakh per year, should be covered, whether or not, controlled by
the Government. This is largely as per existing clause 17 (1) (g), except for
the addition of the foreign donation recipient facet;
(c) It should be clarified that this coverage shall apply, as also stated above,
to every entity and institution, by whatever name called, be it corporate,
society, trust, A.o.P., partnership, sole proprietorship, LLP or any other,
registered or not. It should also be made clear that the approach is functional or ownership based or size based and not based on nomenclature;
(d) It is thus clear that corporates, media or NGOs should and would be
covered only to the above extent and not otherwise.[Para 14.25.A]

89. Despite the foregoing elaborations and ‘lament’ regarding exclusion of large
slices of society from the Lokpal regime, it must not be forgotten that all persons,
whether private, individual, and totally non-Governmental, are already
necessarily covered as abettors, co-conspirators, inciters and givers or recipients
or bribes in terms of clause 17 (3) of the Lokpal Bill, 2011. It may, however, be
further clarified suitably in inclusive and not exhaustive terms in clause 17 (3)
that the phrase "if such person is associated with the allegation of corruption",
should include abettors, bribe-givers, bribe-takers, conspirators and all other
persons, directly or indirectly, involved in the act or omission relating to
corruption within which all other persons and entities in clause 17 are subsumed.
The word "associated" presently used is too general and vague.[Para 14.26]

90. The Committee further recommends that clause 17 (3) should be explicitly
clarified to the effect that the abettor, conspirator or person associated, in any
manner, directly or indirectly, with the corruption allegation, shall not only be
included but be fully liable to investigation, prosecution and punishment and
that the proviso to clause 17 (3) shall be limited only to proposed action to be
taken ‘in case of a person serving in the affairs of a State’ and not qua anyone
else.[Para 14.26.A]

Support Structure for the Lokpal: Whistle Blowers, Phone Tappers and Legal Aid/ Assistance Issues

91. As regards the whistleblower issue, this Committee has made a detailed
recommendation on the subject on August 10, 2011 in respect of the Bill referred
to it. That Bill and the Committee’s recommendation are under the active
decision making process of the Government of India for eventual translation into
law.[Para 15.10]

92. The Committee recommends that the Whistleblowers Bill (Bill No. 97 of 2010)
referred to the Committee, with the changes already recommended by the
Committee in respect of that Bill (in the Committee's report dated August 10,
2011), be implemented into law simultaneously and concurrently with the
Lokpal Bill. In that case, only one provision needs to be inserted in the Lokpal
Bill to the effect that safeguards and machinery provided elaborately in the
proposed Whistleblowers Bill, as opined upon by the Committee, would be
applicable, mutatis mutandis to the Lokpal Bill. In particular, the Committee
notes that clauses 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the aforesaid Whistleblowers Bill, provide
a fairly comprehensive fasciculus of provisions providing safeguards against
victimization, protection of witnesses and other persons, protection of identity of
complainant and power to pass interim orders. The Whistleblowers Bill also sets
up a competent authority and provides for several other related provisions to
make the functioning of that authority efficacious and to enhance the efficiency,
potency and vigour of the safeguards intended to be provided to a whistleblower.
The proposed provision in the Lokpal Bill should act as a cross referencing,
breach of which should activate the related/ applicable provisions of the
Whistleblower Bill and render them applicable to all Lokpal proceedings, as if
set out in the Lokpal Bill, 2011.[Para 15.11]

93. Naturally, one of the main adaptations of the Whistleblowers Bill for Lokpal
proceedings would be that the competent authority in respect of Lokpal covered
persons and offences would be the Lokpal and references in the Whistleblowers
Bill to CVC or other entities would be rendered inoperative for purposes of
Lokpal personnel and officers.[Para 15.12]

94. If, however, the aforesaid Whistleblower Bill, along with the recommendations of
`this Committee in that regard, are not enacted into law by the Government of
India, co-terminously and simultaneously with the Lokpal Bill, then this Committee recommends the creation of some safeguards, in substance and essence, by the addition of a whole new chapter and certain provisions in the proposed Lokpal Bill. However, those provisions in the Lokpal Bill would be largely an adaptation of the same provisions of the Whistleblowers Bill, especially clauses 10 to 13 of the Whistleblowers Bill, while, as explained above, making the Lokpal the competent authority for such whistleblower issues.[Para 15.13]

95. As regards phone tapping, the Committee emphasizes and underlines the basic
reality that phone tapping by regulatory and policing agencies has been
prevalent in India for several years and the rules and regulations in that regard
have undergone periodic refinement and amendment. Currently the regime of
phone tapping is governed by Indian Telegraph Act and Rules read with the
judgments of the Supreme Court inter alia in People Union for Civil Liberties
Vs. Union of India (1997) 1 SCC 301. The Committee believes that there is no
reason, sufficiently strong, to suggest that this substantive law should be altered
in respect of Lokpal proceedings.[Para 15.14]

96. Phone tapping has been resorted to, inter alia, by agencies as diverse as CBI,
Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and others, under
the aforesaid regime of the Act., Rules and the Supreme Court mandated
principles. In all such cases, the Committee is not aware of any situation where
any of these agencies are entitled to suo motu, on their own, without separate
authorization, and in secrecy, initiate or continue phone tapping. There is,
therefore, no reason as to why the proposed Lokpal institution should also not be
subjected to the same regime and mechanism. To provide for inherent and
separate power in the Lokpal institution in this regard, would also create an
excessive and undesirable concentration of powers, would frequently involve a
conflict of interest between preliminary inquiry, investigation and prosecution
and would disturb the equilibrium of all investigative agencies for the past
several years with established practices in respect of phone tapping issues.
Indeed, the Committee notes that in other parts of this Report (Chapter 12), the
CBI is the principal investigating agency and, therefore, its powers of phone
tapping must continue as they exist today. [Para 15.15]

97. As regards legal aid/ assistance, the Committee concludes that clause 56 as
framed does not intend to and should not be read to be a mandate for provision
of automatic legal aid for every accused in a Lokpal proceeding. Clause 56, by
any fair reading, and in the opinion of this Committee, is only intended to
provide legal assistance by way of legal representation to the accused in any case
before the Lokpal eg:- a preliminary inquiry. Firstly, the Committee does not
read this to mean automatic monetary or fiscal assistance or by way of lawyers’
fees for the accused. Secondly, the Committee believes that this was intended to
and recommended so that it should be explicitly clarified that it permits the use
of, or appearance by a legal practitioner, where the accused asks for one in
Lokpal proceedings eg:- a preliminary inquiry. In any event, elsewhere in this
Report we have recommended deletion of the concept of hearing an accused
during preliminary inquiry. If that is done away with, no issue would arise of
legal practitioners appearing. In any case, they are entitled to appear in all later
stages including trial. Finally, it should be clarified that clause 56 does not intend to abrogate or dilute or attenuate any other provision of law under where, by
virtue of those provisions of law, the accused may be entitled to a monetary/
fiscal legal aid or assistance.[Para 15.16]

The Lokpal Miscellany: Residual Issues

98. Although it is implicit in the Lokpal Bill, 2011, the Committee believes that to
obviate all doubts and to prevent any jeopardy to ongoing trials, the proposed
Lokpal should have a specific provision categorically applying Section 4 (3) of
the POCA to Lokpal proceedings, to enable the special judge or Lokpal judge to
try any other offence, where connected, other than those covered by the Lokpal
Act. [Para 16.3]

99. Clause 17 (1) in most of its sub-clauses, including (b), (c), (d) and so on,
specifically refers to a current/serving as also a former public servant (e.g.
Minister, MP, bureaucrat, etc. both past and present). [Para 16.4]

100. The Committee has seen the substantive provisions of POCA and it appears to
be clear that the POCA, which shall continue to be the substantive law applicable to Lokpal trials and proceedings, seeks to render culpable and punish only official acts done by public servants. Be that as it may, the Committee is of the opinion that a specific provision should be inserted in Clause 17 clarifying and specifying that reference to present and former public servants only means that they can be prosecuted whether in or not in office, but only for acts/omissions done while they were in office and not for allegedly fresh acts/omissions after ceasing to hold office.[Para 16.5]

101. The Committee finds that clause 8 and especially clause 8 (1) of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 has struck the right balance and does not need any fundamental changes. It is intended to strengthen the independence and autonomy of the Lokpal by not
making it easy to initiate complaints against Lokpal for the Lokpal’s removal.
The Committee, however, recommends an addition to clause 8 (1)(iii), to allay
and obviate the apprehension expressed in some quarters, that the process to
remove the Lokpal cannot be initiated, under the sub-clause, if the President
(which essentially means the Central Government) refuses to refer the complaint
against the Lokpal. The Committee feels that this apprehension would be
adequately taken care of by providing in clause 8 (1)(iii) that where the President
does not refer a citizen’s complaint against the Lokpal to the Apex Court, the
President (i.e. the Central Government) shall be obliged to record reasons for the
same and to furnish those reasons to the complainant within a maximum period
of 3 months from the date of receipt of the complaint. The Committee feels that
this process, including the transparency involved in recording these reasons and
the attendant judicial review available to the complainant to challenge such
reason/refusal, contains an adequate check and balance on this subject.[Para

102. Additionally, the Committee recommends that Clause 8 (1) (iv) be added in the
existing Lokpal Bill, 2011 to provide, specifically, that anyone can directly
approach the apex court in respect of a complaint against the Lokpal (institution
or individual member) and that such complaint would go through the normal
initial hearing and filter as a preliminary matter before the normal bench
strength as prescribed by the Supreme Court Rules but that, if the matter is
admitted and put for final hearing, the same shall be heard by an apex court
bench of not less than 5 members. It is but obvious that other consequential
changes will have to be made in the whole of Section 8 to reflect the addition of
the aforesaid Clause 8 (1) (iv). [Para 16.6A]

103. Clause 21 of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 needs a relook. In its present form, it appears to empower the Lokpal Chairperson to intervene and transfer any pending case
from one Bench to another, which appears to include the power of transfer even
while a case is under consideration of the Lokpal bench on the merits. This
uncircumscribed power would seriously impair the objectivity and autonomy of
Lokpal Benches, especially at the stage of preliminary inquiry which is a crucial
filtering mechanism. It also appears to be inconsistent with normal principles of
jurisprudence which seriously frown upon interference even by the Chief Justice
in a pending judicial matter before another Bench. The way out would be to
delete this provision and to provide for transfer only in exceptional cases where,
firstly, strong credible allegations are brought to the forefront in respect of the
functioning of any particular Lokpal Bench and secondly, the decision to
transfer is taken by not only the entire Lokpal institution sitting together, but
also including the Members of the Bench from which the matter is sought to be
transferred.[Para 16.7]

104. As regards punishment under the Prevention of Corruption Act for a person
convicted of different offences relating to corruption, it is noteworthy that the
Prevention of Corruption Act prescribes, as it now stands, punishment not less
than six months which may extend to five years for various offences involving
public servant taking gratification in Sections 7, 8, 9, 10 and also Section 11
which deals with public servant obtaining valuable thing without consideration.
Section 12 of POCA dealing with the abetment prescribes the same as six months
to five years range of punishment. On the other hand, for offences of criminal
misconduct by public servant, the prescribed punishment is not less than one
year, extendable upto seven years in Section 13 while Section 14 prescribes
punishment of not less than two years extendable to seven years. Section 15
prescribes the punishment for offences referred to in clause C or clause D of
5.13(i) which has no lower limit but a maximum of three years. Additionally, all
these provisions empower the imposition of fine. [Para 16.8]
105. Diverse representations from diverse quarters have suggested an enhancement of
punishment, with diverse prescriptions of quantum of sentence, including life
imprisonment. After deep consideration, the Committee finds it prudent to strike
a balanced, reasonable middle ground. A sudden, dramatic and draconian
enhancement is, in the opinion of the Committee, undesirable. The Committee
cannot ignore the inherent fallibility of mankind and if fallibility is inherent in
every system, draconian and extreme punishment, even in a few cases of
wrongful conviction, would be undesirable. [Para 16.9]

106. Taking a holistic view, the Committee is of the opinion that:
(a) In the cases of Sections 7, 8, 9 and the like, the range from six months to
five years should the substituted by imprisonment not less than three
years which may extend to not more than seven years.
(b) In the Sections 13 and 14 category of cases providing for a range to one
year to seven years, the Committee suggests enhancement, in the case of
Section 13 offences, to a minimum of four years and a maximum of ten
years while for Section 14, the Committee suggests a minimum of five
years and a maximum of ten years.
(c) For Section 12 which presently prescribes six months to five years, the
aforesaid of minimum three and maximum of seven years shall apply
whereas for Section 15 which presently prescribes zero to three years, the range should be very minimum from two to maximum five years.
(d) Additionally, wherever applicable, there should be a general provision,
cutting across Sections, creating a power of full confiscation of assets,
proceeds, receipts and benefits, by whatever name called, arising from
corruption by the accused. This provision should be properly drafted in a
comprehensive manner to cover diverse situations of benefit in cash or
kind, which, to the maximum extent possible, should fully be liable to
confiscation. [Para 16.9A]

107. Although this issue has been discussed in other parts of this Report, for the sake of clarity, the Committee clarifies that there should be 3 specific and important time limits in the final enactment viz. firstly, the period of 30 days extendable once by a further period of 60 days for preliminary inquiry by the Lokpal; secondly, for completion of investigation by the investigating agency, within 6 months with one further extension of 3 months and thirdly, for completion of trials, within one year with one further extension of 6 months.[Para 16.10]

108. The Committee finds no basis for and no reason to retain the last proviso to
clause 17 (1)(g) which appears to be overbroad and altogether exempts from the
Lokpal Bill 2011 any entity, simply because it is constituted as a new religious
entity or meant to be constituted as an entity for religious purposes. This proviso
should be deleted, otherwise this exception would virtually swallow up the entire
rule found in the earlier parts of clause 17.[Para 16.11]

109. As regards clause 51 of the Lokpal Bill 2011, the Committee recommends that
the intent behind the clause be made clear by way of an Explanation to be added
to the effect that the clause is not intended to provide any general exemption and
that "good faith" referred to in clause 52 shall have the same meaning as
provided in section 52 of the IPC. [Para 16.12]
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