oppn parties Will The Lokpal Make A Difference?

News Snippets

  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
  • Pakistan assures India that no anti-India activity would be allowed in the Kartarpur corridor
  • Pakistan to allow visa-free access to 5000 pilgrims every day to undertake pilgrimage using the Kartarpur corridor
  • Karnataka crisis: BJP wants floor test today
  • Novak Djokovic fights off a spirited challenge from Roger Federer to win his 5th Wimbledon title in an epic - the best ever - final that went on for nearly five hours
  • England wins the World Cup in an epic final that went down to the wire. The match was tied and the Super over was tied too, but England won as they hit more boundaries
  • Good news for monsoon, El Nino weakens and is likely to fade away in a couple of months
  • SC rules that Maratha quota in Maharashtra cannot be applied retrospectively
  • Iconic Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh shut down as it is in danger of collapse due to overload
  • SBI not to charge any amount for digital money transfers through RTGS, NEFT and IMPS
  • Pakistan says Indian planes can only fly over its airspace if India pulls back its fighter jets from advanced bases
  • Congress-JD(S) alliance to seek floor test at the earliest
  • Supreme Court orders status quo in Karnataka case till Tuesday
  • UP BJP legislator Rajesh [email protected]@@s daughter alleges he sent goons after her for marrying outside the caste
  • CBI raids activists Indira jaising and Anand Grover for alleged violation of FCRA in their NGO
ISRO calls-off Chandrayaan-2 mission launch at last moment due to technical snags. revised date will be announced later
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Will The Lokpal Make A Difference?

By A Special Correspondent

Although none of the political parties had the will to have a Lokpal in place, the country is going to have its first anti-corruption ombudsman in Justice (Retd) Pinaki Chandra Ghose. The need for having Lokayuktas in the states and Lokpal at the centre was first espoused by The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by Morarji Desai which submitted a special interim report on "Problems of Redressal of Citizen's Grievances" in 1966. In this report, the ARC recommended the setting up of two special authorities designated as 'Lokpal' and 'Lokayukta' for the redressal of citizens' grievances. Although many states subsequently enacted Lokayukta Acts and Lokayuktas were appointed, no perceived benefit has been felt barring stray cases. The Lokpal movement gathered speed after Anna Hazare started his campaign under the “India Against Corruption” banner.

Hence it is that there has been a muted response to the announcement of the Lokpal. That the Modi government tried to delay the appointment till the fag end of its term shows that the seriousness was not there despite its overtly anti-corruption image. In the end, it was the verbal lashing and the deadline set by the Supreme Court that did the trick. Any anti-corruption ombudsman can be effective only if complete support is provided by the government of the day and the legislation gives power and authority to the body. It is seen from the working of the state Lokayuktas that some state Acts do not allow the Lokayukta to move against the chief minister in certain cases. Also, the necessary support in terms of funding and infrastructure is not provided. This weakens the institution and makes it ineffective.

It remains to be seen whether the Lokpal will be able to do what the Lokayuktas in various states have not been able to. The Lokpal Act as it exists does not inspire much confidence. Further, for a Lokpal to be truly effective, the institution should not be dependent on the government for anything. Unless that happens we can never hope to see a reduction in corruption, let alone its disappearance altogether.