Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why Singhvi & others should not be part of the Parliamentary Committee

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice is chaired by Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Singhvi was nominated to this committee on 26th July, 2011. It is a strategic nomination by the Indian National Congress. This Committee is to deliberate on Lokpal Bill which was referred to it on 8th August, 2011. On 21st August, 2011, the Committee put out an advertisement of the Lokpal Bill, 2011 inviting comments from public till 3rd September, 2011.

There is a clear conflict of interest among some Hon'ble members of this Committee and the sensitive issues of anti-corruption Bill (Lokpal Bill).

For instance, if Singhvi were to be a judge and he had already represented a client in the past judicial propriety (perhaps legislative propriety as well) would have required him to recuse himself from hearing the case of his client. This is a classic case of conflict of interest.

Composition of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice

1 1 Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi Chairman Rajya Sabha
2 2 Shri Parimal Nathwani Member Rajya Sabha
Ind. JHK
3 3 Shri Ram Vilas Paswan Member Rajya Sabha
4 4 Shri Amar Singh Member Rajya Sabha
Ind. UP
5 Shri Ram Jethmalani Member Rajya Sabha
Nom. NOM.
6 Shri Balavant alias Bal Apte Member Rajya Sabha
7 5 Shri O.T. Lepcha Member Rajya Sabha
8 Smt. Chandresh Kumari Member Lok Sabha
9 Shri Lalu Prasad Member Lok Sabha
10 Shri D.B. Chandre Gowda Member Lok Sabha
11 Shri Shailendra Kumar Member Lok Sabha
S.P. Uttar Pradesh
12 Dr. Kirodi Lal Meena Member Lok Sabha
13 Shri Harin Pathak Member Lok Sabha
B.J.P. Gujarat
14 Shri N.S.V. Chitthan Member Lok Sabha
I.N.C. Tamil Nadu
15 Smt. Deepa Dashmunsi Member Lok Sabha
16 Jyoti Dhurve Member Lok Sabha
17 Dr. Monazir Hassan Member Lok Sabha
18 Shri Devji M. Patel Member Lok Sabha
19 Shri S. Semmalai Member Lok Sabha
20 Shri Vijay Bahadur Singh Member Lok Sabha
21 Dr. Prabha Kishore Taviad Member Lok Sabha
22 Shri Manish Tewari Member Lok Sabha
23 Shri R. Thamaraiselvan Member Lok Sabha
24 Shri P. T. Thomas (Idukki) Member Lok Sabha
25 Kumari Meenakshi Natrajan Member Lok Sabha
26 Vacant Rajya Sabha
27 Vacant Rajya Sabha
28 Vacant Rajya Sabha
29 Vacant Lok Sabha
30 Vacant Lok Sabha
31 Vacant Lok Sabha
1 Nominated w.e.f. 26/07/2011

2 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

3 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

4 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

5 Nominated w.e.f. 21/09/2010

It is noteworthy that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice presented its report on “The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Person Making tjavascript:void(0)he Disclosure Bill, 2010”, or The Whistleblower Bill, on June 9, 2011 with its recommendations, which are expected to be enacted soon. The Bill seeks to institutionalise a system to register disclosures from whistleblowers on any allegation of corruption by a public servant and to protect the complainants from any consequences arising due to public interest disclosures.

Disclosure in the act is defined as ‘any complaint made in writing or electronic mail against a public servant on matters related to an attempt to or commission of an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; wilful misuse of power which leads to demonstrate loss to the government or gain to the public servant; or attempt or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant.' The bill designates the Central and State Vigilance Commissioners (CVCs) to investigate the disclosures.

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