Amnah Khalid BeyondHeadlines
In a bid to make the Lokpak Bill comprehensive, covering all kind of corruption , the drafters debated as to how powerful it can be? Should the higher judiciary fall in its purview ? Two opinions are emerging based on consensus among the drafters of the Bill and Higher judiciary.
The drafters have come to a consensus to include it.Recently the extent of corruption was made evident from the surfing of recent cases of corruption in judiciary. Justice Hegde does not mind and does not understand why higher judiciary should not be included, when even the Prime Minister is proposed to be covered under the gambit of the proposed Bill on curbing corruption. The bill is expected to be the most powerful instrument in controlling corruption in the country. The Lokpal is expected to have far reaching powers of investigation, judgment and punishment and stretching powers to cover powers of other Acts include existing laws on Anti corruption .
Anna Hazare, however, is of the opinion that the higher judiciary be excluded. Former Chief Justice of India, M.N.Venkatachalia and J.S.Verma supported the exclusion based on a consensus of the higher judiciary.This would lead to separation of powers and independence of judiciary as envisaged in the Indian Consitution.However it remains to be seen how the checks and balances can be placed on the judiciary.
The Bill has created controversy at every stage. Members of the civil society were very recently questioned over their past practices. Justice Hegde had threaten to quit if his integrity is questioned by the Congress Secretary Digvijay Singh as Karnataka Lokaykta. The Bhushans were tied to old cases of a CD, Allahabad property dispute and Noida land allotment case.
The drafters have decided to stay as a team and work as anti- corruption crusaders.They were also assured by congress to continue their work but the team has sent a letter to Justice kapadia to investigate allegations by a high level inquiry against the panelist.