Lok Satta Junction

For better governance in India.

Anti-corruption Bill by LSP

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Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan presented a draft Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption (Andhra Pradesh) Act to Speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy on Wednesday. The amendment Bill integrates recommendations, guidelines and suggestions of 166th Law Commission Report and the second Administrative Reforms Commission’s fourth report for eradicating corruption at all levels.

Some excerpts from Loksatta News:

“If the Bill is adopted, MLAs and MLCs, elected members of panchayats, municipalities, and municipal corporations will be deemed as public servants and attract the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. As per the Bill, an accused public servant has to prove his innocence in cases of trap or disproportional assets. It provides for attachment and seizure of property during investigation and forfeiture of property when he or she is found guilty. The Bill provides for establishment of a special court in every district, appointment of chief judicial magistrates as special public prosecutors and autonomy to the Anti Corruption Bureau, and effective powers to the Lok Ayukta. Special courts can on their own take cognizance of corruption involving public servants.

If the Government did not introduce the Bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, Dr. JP said, he would introduce it as a private member’s Bill. Dr. JP also underlined the need to integrate various authorities dealing with corruption and disciplinary proceedings. The Lok Satta would draft a separate Bill for that purpose. Lok Satta Party leaders K. Dharma Reddy, V. Vijayender Reddy and E. Chennayya took part in the media meet.”

While I doubt if this bill will be introduced by the Govt., I nevertheless think this would be a good step forward if this encourages some debate on tackling corruption in the Assembly. I am not sure if the existing law is deficient in tackling corruption, I feel the deficiency is only in the law enforcement. Establishing more courts in each district is a good way to ensure faster judicial process. Such bills need to be supported by a broader legal and police reforms throughout the country.

On another note, the Govt. of India proposes to introduce a new bill to end the transfer-posting raj. A draft of the aims and objectives of the Civil Services Bill, 2009 says: “The public servant needs to be protected from victimization or other adverse consequences and refusing to follow directions of superiors in service which are not in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.” The bill envisages an enforceable code of conduct for all bureaucrats through a new Central Public Services Authority. Some important items of the bill are supposed to be:

  • The appointment of all civil servants for a tenure not less than three years in one posting. If there is deviation from this, the public servant will have to be “compensated” for the inconvenience and harassment caused due to such transfer before term.
  • The chief secretary and the director general of police of a state will be selected out of a panel of suitable candidates of required seniority to be drawn up by a committee comprising the chief minister, leader of the Opposition and the home minister.
  • The Cabinet secretary will be selected from a panel by a committee comprising the prime minister, the leader of the Opposition and the home minister.
  • A revamp of performance evaluation, performance related incentive schemes

Looks good so far. Hope this is not just beginner’s enthusiasm or one of the umpteen strong on paper, weak on ground bills.

Update: A discussion with JP on the corruption issue in the TV5 program “Prajalatho JP” is available on youtube: 1, 2 and 3. The full draft of the bill is available here.

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Written by jujung

June 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Posted in Agenda, Ideas, Videos

Tagged with , ,

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